I just despair, I really do.
And yet... I'm also watching the ActionStation petition gain 10,000 signatures in a little over an hour, which is good. And then I read Matthew Hooton's tweet from earlier "I understand that MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon thinks @CampbellLiveNZ & @JohnJCampbell are too anti-government. " and get all depressed again.
I felt compelled to write a very sweary comment on the TV3 Facebook page as well as sign all the petitions. Under the Paul Henry announcement. That was fun.
A small word of warning about the Excess Baggage Company - I used them the trip before last to send a big box of xs baggage home after a trip to Europe - and the box arrived with the most valuable stuff missing...
They had carefully opened the outer box, slid out the inner box that contained my old camera and various other bits (and was listed as such in the inventory you have to provide), removed the valuables and then slid the box back into place - without disturbing anything else. Then they re-taped the box with Excess Baggage Company logo'd tape.
I had no idea anything was missing until I unpacked the whole thing. They clearly knew what they were after, and that fact, together with the use of the company's own tape made me think it was likely to be an inside job.
Ah that's easy - this photo, taken at The Gathering 98/99.
This is after Murray's Last Trance set on the last morning of TheG, I'm hot, sweaty, dusty and probably pretty stinky, having not had a shower for quite a few days by this point. And yet I think it's the "prettiest" photo ever taken of me - and certainly the happiest. That smile is just awesome.
I'm applauding the Gatherers, saying thank you to them for helping us to put on a great party - because they were truly wonderful people and I pretty much loved them.
I'm on stage completely by accident - the crew had gone up a few minutes earlier to wave and clap and say "see you next year" - and then everyone had left the stage except for me and our didgeridoo player who was playing out the final song of the party. I stayed to hold the mike next to the didge while he played it, and when it was over, I stood up and gave the crowd my own standing ovation.
Those days were some of the happiest and most stressful of my life. We created "moments of power" (in a good way) and somehow managed to create our own self-fulfilling prophesy with the whole "be nice humans" thing.
Bloody wonderful - and I'm honoured to have been a part of it.
I haven't experienced the bystander effect in a violent or abusive situation, but I've been able to change the behaviour of other bystanders in terms of giving aid/comfort to someone a couple of times.
Twice I've been the only person willing to step up and make sure someone's OK when it's not clear whether they are or not.
Once I was at an outdoor event where a couple of drunken guys had a bit of an argy-bargy, and one headbutted the other. The headbutee went down in a heap and didn't get up. After a couple of minutes of observing him and getting worried, I went over to see if he was OK, and to put him in the recovery position. The instant I knelt down next to him, everyone around us was all "Oh it's OK folks! She's a nurse!" (I'm not).
Everyone knew he was lying unconscious on the grass, but until I arrived no-one else acknowledged it. The moment I did something about it, people vocally (although not physically) supported me.
The second time was on Courtenay Place where I was a bit concerned about a street dude who was lying on his back on a bench, probably drunk, not moving. I just wanted to make sure he was alright, so I went over and shook him a bit, and asked if he was OK. Once he woke up (groggily) I checked he was OK and asked if there was anything he needed.
In this instance, again, you could see that other people had already noticed him, but that they had chosen not to do anything about it. The moment I went up and started trying to wake him up, I was joined by two or three other people, also expressing concern.
The reason why I'm the one doing this stuff when no-one else is, is because I know about the bystander effect. We studied it at university in a Psych 101 paper and for some reason it had a profound effect in me. I am therefore determined never to allow it to happen on my watch :)
In a violent situation, I'd be very likely to do the same thing - and do something. Whether that was to step in myself or call security or whatever.
My experience is that it only needs one person to step up, and at least a few others will suddenly find the will to do the same. This is a Good Thing :)
Yes - the Republican guy on Media3 was short on facts and a bit long on truthiness for my tastes.
For example, he repeated that old Republican lie about how Obama never made a single vote as a a Senator because he was far too busy preparing to run for President. Completely untrue. You can see more about Obama's voting record in the Senate here (thanks Wikipedia) - especially in the Legislation and Voting Record section.
I don't believe that someone who clearly takes such an interest in US politics and Obama in particular would make a mistake about something as fundamental as a person's voting record, therefore the only conclusion I can come to is that he was deliberately telling an untruth, with the assumption that he wouldn't be called out on it during the interview. When a person with a particular viewpoint is interviewed and flat-out lies in order to strengthen his/her position, I find it hard to take anything else they say very seriously.
I was thinking how great it would be if interviewers could press "pause" during an interview whenever someone makes a statement of "fact" which might not actually be very factual. Pressing "pause" would freeze time while you whizzed off and checked The Google to see if they were telling the truth or not. Now that would be cool.
Thread would not be complete without this properly hatstand effort from a name familiar to some…
Wow. Just. Wow.
She's taking the piss, right? Satire, yeah? Please tell me she's doing a kind of Colbert Report type of thing...
Gosh - I think I have a girlcrush on Ms Genter - that general debate speech is really spot-on.
Gosh what a wonderful piece of writing. I love  - it's the start of a novel!
How lovely to know we have people like Judge Adams overseeing stuff like this that really matters - cos you can tell they really do give a damn.
I’d keep stolen in quotes there. I guess if you’re a “minor” party, you’re fucked if you do, fucked if you don’t and fucked no matter what you do.
Looking slightly above the electoral horse-trading, I think the Greens could say shifting the centre of political gravity – slowly, painfully and unevenly – is also what green politics is about.
I clearly recall reading a quote from the Greens a few years ago (maybe it was on their website, but I can’t find it any more) that basically said their ultimate aim was to put themselves all out of a job – by having their policies eventually picked up and adopted by the larger ‘mainstream’ parties.
Which seems to me to be the ultimate in political altruism really. I think it’s pretty cool – shows me that they care more about having their policies implemented than they do about gaining power for themselves.
You can see another example of that thinking within the Canadian Green party. From Wikipedia:
The ecumenical approach (expressing affinities with all Canadian political tendencies and making cases to voters on all parts of the left-right spectrum) has been advocated by those who believe their success can also be measured by the degree to which other parties adopt Green Party policies.
Hell, just being a scrutineer – with incredibly strict rules about how you conduct yourself in a polling place – was *cough* character forming. :)
I find the “you may not speak with the voters” one particularly fun in terms of its consequences. There’s always gonna be at least one friend or acquaintance coming in to vote if you scrutineer near where you live – in my case it was three or four people during the course of the day.
The first thing that happens is that you catch their eye – because that’s what you’re trying to do with everyone anyway, and you know this person so it would be rude not to…
And they recognise you and go “Hi webweaver! How are you? Go the Greens!” and you smile broadly and say “I’m terribly sorry I’m not allowed to talk to you…” and they go “Wuh? Oh!!” (sudden realisation dawns)… embarrassed grin as they do the ‘zipped mouth’ sign and apologise with an “Oh yes! I won’t say another word! Oops!” and other general awkward shufflings ensue.
After they’ve voted they catch your eye again, give you a big grin and a thumbs-up and off they go.
The first time it happened in our polling station was very soon after we opened and a friend of one of the Labour scrutineers came in. All smiles and “hello how are you?” – expecting a response in return.
The poor scrutineer lady (because I guess hers was the first of the day and we hadn’t quite established our non-response response protocols by that point) looked completely horrified, clamped her mouth shut, looked around wildly for assistance and/or support and finally managed to squeak out “I can’t talk to you!!!!” to her friend – who then did the whole “wuh? oh!” zipped mouth rigmarole thingymajig. Brilliant.
*sigh* I do love people-watching. It’s fascinating.