Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: There's a funny bit at the end ...

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  • Simon Grigg,

    Sydney's pretty bad, Melbourne (which is an international city like none here in New Zealand) not so much.

    perhaps true in the past but the past decade has changed that in Auckland, which has a mix that equals the capital of Victoria and is certainly a much browner city that any in Australia.

    Drive down parts of Dominion Road and try and find a shop sign purely in English now....and many is the time I've stood at a pedestrian crossing in Queen Street as the only Pakeha face....I think its fantastic...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Heheh! Does anyone know of reputable studies that analyse bigotry in relation to gender? Not feminist theory necessarily, but rather something with a firm empirical basis.

    My unscientific impression is that both genders can be equally bigotted and racist, but actual agro tends to come from the younger males (testosterone is a powerful master). Not to say that the prejudices inflicted by the women and older men aren't even more damaging (its not the 20 year old hooligans that don't hire folks of the wrong shade), but they don't make for good news footage.
    The measure of a nation's racism is in how much it enables and/or encourages the bigots. Similar to the famous 'broken windows' theory, if political and opinion leaders and role models in general condone minor acts of bigotry, then major acts become more acceptable.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report

  • Terence Wood,

    Simon and Merc,

    Fair call. Although, in my opinion, Melbourne still has the edge.

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report

  • Miriam Bell,

    My boyfriend & I were in Sydney last weekend (to see Lou Reed). On Sunday my boyfriend was going to see the Black Caps play the Australians with a friend of his who happens to have life-tickets to the members’ stand at the SCG. As my cousin, who has lived in Sydney for the last 15 years (& has an Aussie accent), had been most kindly driving us round all weekend, my boyfriend invited him to go to and see the cricket with him & his mates.
    My cousin was keen and, on the day, they all trooped off – ‘respectably’ dressed as required. Unfortunately, on their arrival at the members’ stand, my cousin (who is a polite, charming guy) was turned away three times before he was finally, reluctantly allowed in. Even though the life-member vouched for him every time.
    & what was the reason? Well, it was pretty unclear really. But there’s one slight difference between my cousin & the rest of the guys: They’re all white New Zealanders & Australians. Whereas my cousin is adopted - & he just happens to be half Chinese, half Fijian…

    Since Jan 2007 • 2 posts Report

  • merc,

    Melbourne has what edge?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report

  • Simon Grigg,

    Melbourne has what edge?

    in food anyway....best in Australasia by a fair wack. I used to have to visit Melbourne on business three or four times a year and it was always a matter of working out which eateries I could fit in on each trip....

    There's a little Sicilian place near the racecourse.....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report

  • merc,

    I'm calling BS, my wife's the Best Cook in the Universe and she got tips by local cooks. You just gotta ask and they'll tell all. Plus the ingreds you can get here are insane.

    Melbourne smelbourne.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    in food anyway....best in Australasia by a fair wack.

    Gotta go with you there, big guy. I haven't been to Melbourne a lot (and one time our plonker hosts insisted on taking us to the Hard Rock Cafe), but the best Italian restaurant I've ever dined at, by miles, was there. Great markets too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Che Tibby,

    in melbourne on thursday...


    i'm going to eat a 350g, 5-week-aged-on-the-bone, black angus rump steak from la luna bistro in carlton north. beef so tender you can eat it with a teaspoon.

    then there's gelato from gelobar on northern lygon street, vietnamese spring rolls from richmond, and BBQ duck from a hole in the wall on elizabeth street.

    i want to see at least one gig at the empress of india, eat at least one steak sandwich from the Napier in fitzroy, and buy sushi on swanson st.

    if there's time, a coffee from flinders lane would be delightful, popping into a game at the MCG after buying some new shirts on bridge road would be nice, and visiting the state library would bring back pleasant memories (i undercovered some great and rare correspondence relating to the gifting of the first piece of land back to it's aboriginal owners. only 1971 but the letters were like hen's teeth).

    oh, and who can forget the factory outlets on smith street (the far end, past all the drunks and junkies), the tiny greek 'patisseries' in st kilda, and rifling thru incredible 2nd hand book stores surrounding melbourne uni.

    i might even find time to sleep.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report

  • Jackie Clark,

    This was not achieved by some kind of political takeover, it was developed after years of research and dialogue. The key mechanism was discussion, not confrontation (although confrontation was used as a mechanism to spur disccussion).

    Unlike Australia, we have a mainstream acknowledgement of our historical deeds and misdeeds. And the State is able to say sorry for past wrongs, which appears to be politically unthinkable in Australia.

    It's not that we have fewer racists here, it is that we have an entirely different social context - one in which racist comments much more likely to be seen for what they are.

    I would agree with what you have said, Mikaere, but would also add that in New Zealand, there seems to be a long history, since the meeting of the two peoples, Pakeha and Maori, of setting up of domestic arrangements that have resulted in a growing number of people in this country, like yourself, who affliliate as having both Maori and Pakeha parentage/ancestry. There's fairly extensive research on this subject.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar%3Fq%3Dintermarriage+rates+in+New+Zealand+between+Maori+and+Pakeha%26hl%3Den%26cr%3DcountryNZ%26oi%3Dscholart My nieces for example are of Maori, Scottish and Jewish ancestry. Their Kuia is Maori (she likes to say, as Tuwharetoa, that she has no Pakeha ancestry), their koro is Jewish/Scottish. I would imagine that many families in New Zealand have this same lovely mix of ethnicity and fascinating love history. I know nothing of the intermarriage rates between the Koori peoples and Australians of European descent, but perhaps we in this country have less strident and obvious racial prejudice because, let's face it, you can't be a redneck slagging off at someone's race when you're part of a bicultural family. Just a thought.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie,

    My unscientific impression is that both genders can be equally bigotted and racist, but actual agro tends to come from the younger males (testosterone is a powerful master).

    As Tony Parsons said, having testicles is like being chained to the village idiot.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • reece palmer,

    Who's up for a bit of Idiocy in the wrestling ring at summer series tomorrow? I lay the challenge down here and now!

    Please don't hurt me.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report

  • Neil Morrison,

    Does anyone know of reputable studies that analyse bigotry in relation to gender?

    Well funnily enough yes -

    blue-eyed men find blue-eyed women more attractive than brown-eyed women

    Although there's more clearly a correlation between testosterone and gang violence.

    I had recently that the physical differences between races cannot be completely explained by adaptation to different environments and that people mating with people who look similar may have played a large role. Another mixed blessing from the in-group out-group mechanism.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report

  • Paul Gumbley,

    I had a look at the above link and found the following quote, which is incorrect:

    "The laws of genetics state that eye color is inherited as follows:

    If both parents have blue eyes, the children will have blue eyes.

    If both parents have brown eyes, a quarter of the children will have blue eyes, and three quarters will have brown eyes.

    The brown eye form of the eye color gene (or allele) is dominant, whereas the blue eye allele is recessive."

    This is not quite accurate and I think what they really meant was:

    If both parents have brown eyes, and each one has a parent with blue eyes (and therefore have heterozygous recessive genes for blue eyes) then they will have a 1 in 4 chance of producing a child with blue eyes.

    But if both (brown-eyed) parents each have 2 brown eyed parents themselves, they will be carrying homozygous dominant genes for brown eyes - and they will produce - with certainty (barring spontaneous mutations) brown eyed offspring.

    If 1/4 of the offspring of 2 brown-eyed parents had blue eyes, as the quote from the link claims, there would be a lot of blue-eyed people in non-white populations.

    It requires 2 blue-eyed grandparents - one from the maternal and one from the paternal side - for 2 brown-eyed people to produce a blue-eyed offspring.

    And that means a 1 in 4 chance of producing a blue-eyed child, not that 1/4 of your children will be blue-eyed. Big difference, important in genetics, statistical analysis and gambling.

    2 blue-eyed parents will have homozygous recessive genes for blue eyes, and can only (barring mutations) produce blue-eyed offspring.

    Phenotype = expressed form of the gene, i.e. what you see. Genotype = genetic type you don't see,
    as in brown eyed person carrying gene for blue eyes.

    In the case of a blue-eyed person, their phenotype (for eye-colour anyway) is the same as their genotype.

    Having quoted my junior-high genetics lesson, I have to say an opthamologist friend of mine once told me this is a vast oversimplification of the genetics and that 8 other genes were involved in determining eye colour and the old high-school genetics formula isn't really entirely reliable; but the above quote from the link is just plain wrong.

    But it's interesting that Helen Clark is more attractive to blue eyed men than Penelope Cruz. I wouldn't have thought so, but you learn something every day.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 1 posts Report

  • rodgerd,

    Yes, there's clearly no difference between Australian and New Zealand ib ussues of race. That's why the Australian response to the Torres decision was to set up a process for compensation to address past wrongs based on the best practises of the Waitangi Tribuneral or Canadian equivalents.

    Also, as we know, 'blackbirding' was as commonly resorted to New Zealand as Australia in the 20th century.

    Coming up next: the PublicAdress expose on the New Zealand Police; as corrupt as those in Mexico!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report

  • Scott Fannen,

    Well, I can only talk from having lived in London and Auckland and visited Sydney but I felt that Sydney was incredibly racist.

    I know lots of lovely Australians from different ethnic groups (and Sydney has a lot of big ethnic groups) but in Sydney it is totally acceptable to go "bloody chink" or "bloody abos" or worse - it just rolls off the tongue there. And not just English white versus the rest - everyone seems to be at it - like a scene from a Spike Lee movie (I can't remember which one).

    Rather than group together, the various ethnic groups just look for another minority to slag off.

    And Aboriginal history just seems a reason to attract tourist and sell souvenirs (admittedly, like Maori culture 30 years ago).

    Auckland isn't perfect (and I'd expect the rest of NZ to be a little worse due to the higher ratio of Europeans as you go south) but in the last 10-20 years (yes, since the Waitangi Tribunal) NZ has gone from laughing at correct Maori pronunciation to an actual appreciation of it. To, generally, appreciating our multicultural nature.

    And - very noticeable coming back to NZ once a year - changing from "little Britain" to a merging high breed of our different cultures - something I am very proud of. For every "idiot speech" like Don Brash's in Orewa, we seem to be heading in the right direction where a person who makes an overt statement of racism is treat like an idiot - and not just thought of as normal as seems to be the case in Australia were even non-racists will go "too many bloody abos there".

    I may have a fairy tale view of NZ but I think it's getting better all the time. And PublicAddress is a good example where I enjoy reading Tze Ming Mok a lot and also miss Che for his perspectives not just on the Maori side of the equation (although I'm beginning to question if side is the right term - more variable geometry) but also his insight into Australia.


    Warsaw • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Paul Williams,

    The age old dispute is which is the better city, Sydney or Melbourne. We live in Sydney mainly because we have family there, but on balance, probably prefer Melbourne. For sport it is a better city hands-down although having spent a week there during the last Rugby World Cup, I was frustrated by the lack of interest in rugby.

    Food is a tough comparison - I think Lygon St's a pain in the arse and prefer Sydney's Leichhardt and Norton St.

    My favourite place in Melbourne is called Babka - on Brunswick St in Fitroy; authentic goulash with beautiful eastern European breads. The fact that it was 40 degrees outside still didn't dissuade me from visiting twice on my last visit.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report

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