Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Up Front Guides: How to Be an Opinion Columnist

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    That's great stuff. An argument against gay marriage on the premise that if we continue to stop gays marrying, they're more likely to marry women and produce children.

    Depressingly, it's a fairly standard do down the fags line of argument. I don't know what's worse about that line: the middle finger extended towards reality, or the intellectual dishonesty of this:

    1) 'Normal' marriage is great because it is sooths the savage animal penis brains -- which is a state of being that is good for individuals and families and society at large.

    2) Homos are degenerate animal penis brains who'd shag anything, anywhere any time.

    3) Which is precisely why homos shouldn't be allowed to marry. (So much for the social utility defence of marriage. Wouldn't you be encouraging cock-loving sex maniacs to enter into formal, socially-sanctioned pair bonds if you really believed 1)?)

    If you can make sense of that, I'd like you to take a look at my student loan statement. IN the meantime, if Christopher Pearson doesn't take his own argument seriously I don't see why I should bother.

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

  • richard, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Better yet: become a graduate science student. Undergraduates volunteer for minionship. If you play it right, you will never wash another dish.

    (Okay, you will, but it will be many fewer dishes than you would have washed without minions.)

    I once got a post-doc to help move a sofa. Does that count?

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • Xeno, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Toilet paper is too good a use for that section of the paper apparently.

    I wouldn't soil my backside with it.

    Since Oct 2008 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Crikey, Craig. There are so many 'urges' in paragraph three (and throughout the whole article) that it's almost satirical.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I don't think we should down-play, either, how horrible that column is about straight men.

    Men and women tend to have different needs and priorities when they enter a mature sexual relationship.

    Most men are not naturally disposed to be monogamous, for example. One of the purposes of marriage is to bind them to their spouses and children for the long haul and to give the state's approval to those who enter such a contract and abide by its terms.

    See, if straight men aren't bound to their spouses and children, they'll just fuck off. Whereas if we allow gay men to be bound to their partners... something something. I'm not sure I can make any sense of that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Do op-ed columnists dream of being allowed on a Government Working Group? They might as well be.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    More importantly, collective nouns can't sue for defamation.

    They can't take collective action? Oh, duh, yes, true, then they would be verbs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Lilith __,

    Do op-ed columnists dream of being allowed on a Government Working Group? They might as well be.

    Hmmm. How much rage can I sustain over Facebook, Twitter, email *and* PAS at once? Lessee...

    [pause for tallying]

    .... it appears to be a practically infinite amount.

    GRAR!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Whereas if we allow gay men to be bound to their partners... something something.

    Perhaps that was where the idea of imprisoning gays for being gay came from.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Hmmm. How much rage can I sustain over Facebook, Twitter, email *and* PAS at once? Lessee...

    You could always focus your rage and turn it into a submission. You have time until December 24th.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Fear not, I will. (I'm sure that they're deeply interested in what Enraged Mother of One, Glen Eden, has to say.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    You could always focus your rage and turn it into a submission. You have time until December 24th.

    Good advice in many situations; but in this case I do wonder if rational action is pointless. These are the people still spouting:

    “If changes were not made, the 356,000 working-age adults on a benefit would eventually cost the country $50 billion.”

    which is not just inaccurate, not just speculative, not just misleading, but the WWG must know, an actual lie: it assumes every person receiving a benefit will do so for the rest of their life, which is almost never the case.

    More from Gordon Campbell in that same article:

    "The reality is far less dramatic. Elsewhere within the working paper, the level of those reliant on welfare is predicted to rise from 13% now to 16% in 2050. That’s only a three per cent rise spread over 40 years, in the context of an ageing population that will inevitably generate more people on sickness and invalids benefits. So, where’s the crisis? In that sense, there isn’t one. ‘Crisis’ is a word that I would reserve for the health system, under Tony Ryall. A ruckus over welfare is merely a political diversion from the debacle unfolding in health.

    If we truly want to get people off welfare and into jobs, here’s a revolutionary notion – let’s create some jobs ! At present, as Sue Bradford has pointed out, there are 255,000 people in this country who are wanting work, but who currently can’t find it. We don’t have a welfare crisis, we have a jobs crisis. Why on earth would the working party – or the government – think that it is a good and timely priority to add to the numbers already seeking work, by pushing more people out to look for non-existent jobs?"

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    i wonder tho, do the squeaky wheel Columnist make all of them look bad? A bit like one bad cyclist/pedestrian/driver makes them all look bad?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    These are the people still spouting:
    “If changes were not made, the 356,000 working-age adults on a benefit would eventually cost the country $50 billion.”

    Where 'people' means supposedly-trained journalists. What's going to stop these pricks passing on the lies?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    You can download the report and previous submissions at the WWG's lair. I imagine someone may start a new thread here for the topic.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    I imagine someone may start a new thread here for the topic

    Yeah, sorry Emma, didn’t mean to threadjack, just can’t believe that social policy might be written in that same punitive factless rage….

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hi folks. Too busy preparing the TV show to write anything sensible, but I've made you a Welfare Working Group discussion thread:

    http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/what-about-that-welfare-working-group-then/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • peterpeasant,

    "I feel I should just make it absolutely clear that this column is not intended to be a reflection on anyone I work with or for. Or around. Or "work with". Or even drink with."

    I see, the remainder of the human population of this planet are opinion columnists?

    new zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I see, the remainder of the human population of this planet are opinion columnists?

    Yes, Peter. That's exactly what I meant. Or possibly you're under- (or over-) estimating the proportion of the population I've drunk with.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Or possibly you’re under- (or over-) estimating the proportion of the population I’ve drunk with.

    I was going to do some creative editing on that sentence...basically replacing one word, but that was your last column...

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I'm beginning to think the only sensible solution is to campaign for enforced same sex marriages. Every man, woman and child (we need to get them before they can form their own opinions) would be required to have at least one same sex husband/wife. Of course we probably could allow people to have opposite sex partners as well, perhaps using some sort of civil union.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    As long as you refer to them as "bros" instead of "partners", you'll get 95% of the male population behind the idea.

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

  • Emma Hart,

    Every man, woman and child (we need to get them before they can form their own opinions) would be required to have at least one same sex husband/wife.

    You know, I could seriously do with another mother/wife in this house right now.

    I was going to do some creative editing on that sentence...basically replacing one word, but that was your last column...

    Oh honey, remember what happened the last time we counted?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Oh honey, remember what happened the last time we counted?

    We ran out of fingers and toes?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Oh honey, remember what happened the last time we counted?

    You had to go out and improve your score?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

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