Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: That Book, The Ban That Isn't, Farcebook And Outsourced Hypocrisy

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    I could post something intelligent and considered, talking about the use of the media to create an "other" out of the real problem of social deprivation and child abuse. Not to mention Wishart's prior form for supporting legalised violence against children.

    But instead, have a link to the leaked book cover proof.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm going to have to put some fresh nails in my seal club of loving correction, aren't I?

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

  • nzlemming,

    If Wishart wants the material out there, let him publish it on the web for free. A boycott doesn't prevent freedom of speech - it's an economic action affecting freedom to profit.

    In my view, the freedom of speech argument is bogus. No-one is preventing Wishart from either writing or publishing it, and that's where an abridgement of his freedom speech would actually occur. I'm not the biggest Farcebook supporter, but don't those people have a right to opine and act as they see fit (as long as it's lawful - I haven't read the page and will not, but I can well imagine the lunacy that some will bring to it)?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to nzlemming,

    I'm not the biggest Farcebook supporter, but don't those people have a right to opine and act as they see fit (as long as it's lawful - I haven't read the page and will not, but I can well imagine the lunacy that some will bring to it)?

    Of course they do, indeed they have the right to opine that others don't have the right to opine. I disagree with this opinion and have the right to opine about it, just as Craig does. I also disagree with nearly everything that Ian Wishart says - except about the right to freedom of speech.

    Anyone out there actually read the book yet, to know what it says, and whether that is bad or not?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Also, Craig, the fictional examples don't really hit so hard as a comparison of moral equivalence as works of purported non-fiction do. Underbelly is a better example, although that is written from the point of view of police. I think the works of Mark "Chopper" Reid are a better example, and they do perhaps hint at this being a little trickier as a rights issue. I browsed some of his work and thought a lot of it sounded like bullshit he was making up, but quite a lot was also highly credible, and it was an insight into his mind. That's not a bad purpose, even if what he did in the stories is, for the most part, reprehensible.*

    *something he freely admits, although he does use the horribly appealing defense that the people he hurt were all bad people. But that was also Clayton Weatherton's defense, and it struck me as irrelevant and possibly bullshit too. Particularly the guy he claimed to have shot in the face, just because the guy was being too friendly to him in a bar and he thought he was being set up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Cushla McKinney,

    "Paper Plus, The Warehouse and Unity also have little concerns about selling “true crime” non-fiction, self-justifying memoirs written by convicted criminals. "

    Nor do they refuse to stock the accounts of other parents of murdered (or missing) children, such as the book about Madeline McCann, which has also just been released. Is the difference that we think Macsyna King is guilty and the Kate McCann innocent? What about books by/about David Bain or Lindy Chamberlain? Would they have been banned while they were found guilty by the courts and acceptable after acquittal? I'm not sure the distinction between presumptive guilt and innocence justifies the difference in treatment the two books have received, especially since it seems nobody who is boycotting the former has read it yet.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • mic weevil,

    I agree with nzlemming. nothing is being banned, there is no human right to have your words distributed by large corporate bookstores and if Ian Wishart is really that concerned with the truth being told he could put up a free torrent of the pdf in all it's literary glory.

    Sure the bookstores could be more upfront about their reasons for doing so but no one else in the media tells "the truth" so I'd be pretty surprised to hear them say "we think the bad press we'll get from stocking this book will hurt our profits so we won't stock it". They've done the sums and realised that the profits they'd take on the Wishart book would be less than the lost sales from a boycott and now they're spinning the decision as favourably as they can. just like everyone else in PR.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Curran,

    I wouldn't be to worried about future protests impoverishing the book selection at paper plus and whitcoulls. Their current selection's tend to be appallingly limited already.
    The small niche book stores (while they survive) mean there will always be somewhere where you can get some thing.

    Since May 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Wishart talked last night on Campbell Live about telling a story of how the boys killings came about. I don't know if there's any defense in there of Macsyna or blame to Chris, but isn't this a story worth telling? Even if it is by someone as loathsome as Wishart?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to nzlemming,

    A boycott doesn't prevent freedom of speech

    I don't think that's quite so obvious. It may not prevent it outright, but it hampers it. That is definitely the purpose of the boycott - they're not content to just let the fact that fuck all people will buy the book anyway do the job for them of keeping the words in the book away from the sensitive eyes of everyone including themselves. They're not asking that it just be taken away from the shelves, perhaps get kept behind the counter like a porno magazine. No, they want no-one else to be able to easily read the thing. I don't like the attitude, even if they do, of course, have the right to wield their buying power in this way, and the stores have the right to be scared by that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Ben Curran,

    Whitcoulls had a huge selection of books that had nobody wanted to buy from their original retailer (including several Wishart works, last time I looked). Apparently that helped their bankruptcy.

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

  • uroskin,

    Any thoughts of how, as a consumer, you can rigthfully boycott a book (by not buying it) but you are powerless when your Council uses your rates to buy that same book for its public libraries.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Pretty much nailed how I feel too, Craig. I'd like a Wishart-free world as much as anyone, but I feel uncomfortable with the way the big chains have responded to this. (Imagine the outcry if Google decided to filter its results to exclude particular legal but unpopular websites.)

    I have slightly more sympathy for Unity books-they're a relatively small operation, and there are obvious commercial pressures there whichever way they lean. But still, in the long run, I'd rather this stuff was available and able to be looked at critically and openly rather than hidden away in online stores for cranks and losers.

    I never noticed this sort of outcry over the multiple Shappelle Corby books (who, lest we forget was actually convicted of a crime.)

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

  • Tim Hannah, in reply to uroskin,

    Any thoughts of how, as a consumer, you can rightfully boycott a book (by not buying it) but you are powerless when your Council uses your rates to buy that same book for its public libraries.

    I've considered standing for Council on a platform of "The library shouldn't buy any book on behalf of the entire community unless I like it". But I'm feeling a little discouraged as informal polling tells me my taste isn't as popular as it should be.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Indeed, I think there's a good argument to say some library should buy it (because libraries are repositories).

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mark Graham,

    Wishart talked last night on Campbell Live about telling a story of how the boys killings came about. I don’t know if there’s any defense in there of Macsyna or blame to Chris, but isn’t this a story worth telling? Even if it is by someone as loathsome as Wishart?

    But that's where I think there's something contemptuous (in a moral rather than legal sense) in Wishart choosing to exploit the news value of the inquest -- to the point of claiming to have the untold truth about the babies' death. It's despicable.

    But I was fairly stunned at the TradeMe rep on a panel at NetHui today cheerily explaining that they were letting their users decide in an online poll whether the book should be allowed for sale on TradeMe. He thought it was democracy in action. It sounded creepy to me.

    I'd be more comfortable if they'd just made a commercial decision and owned that. Shifting responsibility to the tiny proportion of their user base that bothers to vote is hardly a brave move.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    Any thoughts of how, as a consumer, you can rightfully boycott a book (by not buying it) but you are powerless when your Council uses your rates to buy that same book for its public libraries.

    I’ve considered standing for Council on a platform of “The library shouldn’t buy any book on behalf of the entire community unless I like it”. But I’m feeling a little discouraged as informal polling tells me my taste isn’t as popular as it should be.

    And then you look at some of the more illiberal states of America and thank your lucky stars people generally don’t petition their local library to remove books in this country.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    <i>was actually convicted of a crime</i>

    One could argue that smuggling weed isn't morally wrong and that the Indonesian justice system (or the US one, for that matter) is too corrupt for anyone convicted by it to be considered "guilty".

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Also, how would people feel if a sustained campaign resulted in Michael Moore books being removed from sale by booksellers? Or Don Brash's work(s)? Or Ayn Rand.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to uroskin,

    Any thoughts of how, as a consumer, you can rigthfully boycott a book (by not buying it) but you are powerless when your Council uses your rates to buy that same book for its public libraries.

    Oh, I'm personally brimming with #Dorklandpride that Auckland City Libraries promptly found their over-sewed spine on this.

    Ian Wishart, author of the controversial book. Photo / APN
    Expand
    Ian Wishart, author of the controversial book. Photo / APN

    Aucklanders will be able to stroll into their local library and borrow a copy of the controversial Macsyna King book but Wellingtonians may have to wait.

    Ian Wishart's latest book has attracted outrage in some quarters, with more than 41,000 people signing up to a "Boycott the Macsyna King Book" page on the social networking website Facebook.

    Auckland Council Libraries was the only organisation contacted by the Herald yesterday that confirmed it would be stocking Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case.

    Libraries manager Allison Dobbie said the organisation upheld the principles of the Library Information Association, which stated that "information and resources should not be excluded because of the opinions expressed, who the author is, or on the grounds of political, social, moral or other views of the author".

    Couldn't put it better myself. But I'm just counting the hours until some attention-starved councillor decides the pointy-headed elitist bookworms (who should have their budget cut and be forced to get a real job anyway) are a no-risk, easy target.

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

  • Kumara Republic,

    There's a clear difference between boycotting and book-burning, which Craig is keen to point out. The points are that Ian Wishart is being an (admittedly fundy) attention ho as usual, and that Macsyna King - despite the fact that she's no angel - has a right to be free from lynch mobbery.

    I'd only start getting jittery if bricks or molotovs start flying through stockists' windows. Even so, most of the mainstream booksellers wouldn't see much money in the Wishart book anyway.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Crunchy Weta,

    Just possible that all this outcry will help to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse. Maybe some people need to be aware of what is happening out there. Maybe some may feel moved to dob in there neighbours.

    Mamaku • Since Nov 2006 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to HORansome,

    Indeed, I think there's a good argument to say some library should buy it (because libraries are repositories).

    Exactly. I remember being surprised when browsing my local library's history section to find several David Irving books there. But then I thought a library should stock books like that which won't be sold in regular book stores.

    I mean the ideal library would have a copy of every book ever printed including the distasteful ones.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Crunchy Weta,

    Every time a child is killed by their caregivers in this country, we think that’s going to happen. And it doesn’t. Kids keep being abused, and killed. Personally, I see no value in this book, and I have no problem with Carole or any other bookseller choosing not to stock it. And I’m really not sure it’s a story any of us need to hear – at least not in this way.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Crunchy Weta,

    raise awareness of the issue

    Surely everyone knows by now. Let's see some smart action that works (and it won't come from Wishart, McCoskrie or their chums).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

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