Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How much speech does it take?

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  • Kracklite, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Pokie machines aren't ironic enough to be fun.

    Trolls show up thinking that they can manipulate other people, but quickly make it clear that they are open to manipulation themselves, which makes them fair game, as far as I'm concerned (I noticed that "Son of Little P" really didn't like to see someone [moi] suggest that he thought of himself as a "victim", for example, so...).

    James, I must admit, fascinated me for a while, since he seemed to be an example of a consciousness stripped down to its bare minimum, resorting endlessly to defaults that had worked in adolescence, but were out of touch with the adult, fully-sentient world. Ultimately though, I'd rather have an aquarium with a coelecanth or a trilobite - such living fossils (fingers crossed for the rediscovery of the latter) would have real grandeur (I've been reading too much Peter Watts - can you tell?).

    The game though, is trivial, and my interest in any troll ephemeral and I promise not to make a habit of troll-baiting here. One of the things I really like about this forum is the fact that it doesn't seem to have to try hard to keep them at bay - probably because it's routinely made obvious that any one of the regulars are unaffected by them and could make mincemeat of them anyway.

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

  • anth,

    I do wonder how deep-seated the biological/psychlogical urge to ‘other’ those who are different is.

    No idea.

    A study from last year suggests that this is related to oxytocin, often called the "love hormone" because it was previously known for the role it plays in bonding (eg sex, childbirth). More discussion here.

    It does, to a greater or lesser degree, seem to be quite deep-rooted in the human psyche. How do we deal with that?

    If love and hate are opposite sides of the same coin (or hormone) then it'll be pretty hard to deal with.

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Sure, but for some weird reason I feel that is cheating.

    I really did want Megan to come up to the Blend with me. For many reasons, but importantly so I could introduce her to Bart. But then, I really enjoy introducing "cool and interesting" people to each other.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kracklite,

    Pokie machines aren’t ironic enough to be fun.

    Oh, bravo sir.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Anyway, to unthreadjack…

    Flavell. Good God, Clapton, Cthulhu, Leto Atreides II and You-Know-It-Hates-Being-Called-That for good measure. He is positively mediaeval.

    An “authority” he quotes in support of his position argues that the life of an individual belongs to their whanau or community, not themselves, so that to end it is a crime against the commons. It’s a point I can understand in the sense that many cultures define identity according to one’s bonds, not a single, core, nucleus, atom or what have you of sentience. However, if that is the case, effectively punishing a family for the suicide of one of it’s members cripples them, it interrupts their own grieving permanently and makes it impossible for them to heal as a whole. I can’t understand or respect a man who thinks that it is more important to punish than to heal.

    In any case, people attempt suicide for so many reasons. People I have known have attempted (or succeeded) out of despair, those who have failed have thankfully transformed their lives… another I’ve known, with Borderline Personality Disorder, uses regular half-hearted but theatrically-arranged and publicised attempts to emotionally blackmail people around her (notes are useless because they’re read too late – TXT someone to get a quicker, more panicked response!) and I have had to withdraw my empathy because she feeds on the pain she causes other people.

    There are awful people who use others’ empathy, but people like Flavell, who seem to have none, for anyone, are despicable.

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

  • David Hood,

    Apropos of U.K. citizenship, a little while back the rather good BBC stats show/podcast "More or Less" had a marriage themed show where they were predicting there was going to be a rise in marriages that the media would ascribe to the Royal wedding. Whereas they were pointing out that the previous policy of cracking down on dodgy weddings for citizenship was ending, and so to would the accompanying drop in the number of marriages (which the media had ascribed to things like young people losing faith with traditional institutions).

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Sweet!
    Hey, I'll borrow a niece's phone -and the niece! - so we can text that to Ben!

    And Megan- staunch & doing the good thing- cheers

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to anth,

    One of the things asexuals know about each other is - a lot of us seem low on oxcytocin...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kracklite,

    3 of my family, in the throes of severe clinical depression, have attempted suicide.
    ALL of the whanau rallied round as best we could. We had no sense of blaming the person who tried to kill themself – much enquiry as to what we could have done better.WE DID NOT FEEL SHAMED BY THE ATTEMPTS. If they had been successful, WE STILL WOULDNT'VE FELT SHAMED BY THE ACT.

    Te Ururoa Flavell – I challenge you: come stand up on any Kai Tahu marae that I have speaking rights on, and spout your tikokorerotiko to my face. You – are a nithing. You lack insight and compassion and your foul dessicating words only add pain to an extremely painful situation. Haere ki Te Po.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kracklite,

    trilobites!

    I have many fossils - so joyous to even contemplate living exemplars-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Ever think you have heard this somewhere before.
    Chris Trotter was quite brilliant on Afternoons.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons
    Then I saw Democracy Now 26 July 25-40mins.
    http://www.democracynow.org/

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    O, may I add? - suicide was not looked upon as shameful in the times gone by. It was accepted that the suicidal person found something too much for them to bear. In the case of the' seaweed caps' (widows or survivors of a long partnership) it was also honoured.

    There are old examples of young people killing themselves from whakama. It is not a new thing.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Islander,

    Had clinical depression myself due to a probable propensity and some specific circumstances, but I never seriously contemplated suicide as a direct result… but I can understand people who might. Someone with a severe disorder might be driven to it by direct effect, but someone who feels themselves at their wit’s end due to a concatenation of circumstance, especially when as a teenager they might not have the emotional experience to stabilise themselves.

    Some people who do it might do so out of sheer exhaustion. My depression was like riding a bicycle with bent handlebars – I could, with effort, keep it straight on its path, but that effort had to be constant, and it was profoundly exhausting. Someone without help or medication might have simply been worn out. I had my networks and strategies and I didn’t wear out.

    Parents and whanau can’t take the blame or the punishment for a child’s suicide – they’re ultimately not the only influence on someone not fully equipped to deal with life yet. Flavell’s “solution” would effectively torture the bereaved all the more who would be feeling enough – undeserved – guilt.

    Now, I see, he’s “standing by” what he said, because it was supposed to foster debate or whatever. Oh what a coward. I am really sick of people who say something bloody stupid and cruel because some idiot like Lhaws or whoever will chirp in and say, “it needs to be said” or “we’re all thinking that”.

    The purpose of public discourse, I thought, was to think before speaking, and then speak in the hope that it might be useful.

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

  • Kracklite, in reply to Islander,

    I have many fossils – so joyous to even contemplate living exemplars

    I have only a little Phacops myself, but it's quite beautiful. Horseshoe Crabs are supposed to be their closest living relatives, but with so much of the seafloor unexplored, it's not unreasonable to hope that some deep-water species might still exist...

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

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Islander,

    O, may I add? – suicide was not looked upon as shameful in the times gone by. It was accepted that the suicidal person found something too much for them to bear. In the case of the’ seaweed caps’ (widows or survivors of a long partnership) it was also honoured.

    Whereas Christians used to treat it the way Flavell advocates, until well into the 20th century in some places. And so suicides were buried on unconsecrated land, alongside unbaptised children and unmarried women who had died of childbirth. To teach them all a lesson, presumably.

    Good old Western values. We have so much to teach.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Actually, I vaguely remember a short story, probably Irish, about someone who had died in a way that meant that they could not be buried in consecrated ground, so they were buried adjacent to but outside the churchyard. One night, the people of the village came out, tore down the wall, and rebuilt it to enclose the fresh grave.

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    The Standard has many authors but the mean of the stories always politically points to a preference for a western european style economy with more consideration of building functionable communities, - and these threads can be mean too sometimes. Online debate is still so new and is a lot stranger than anyone would have predicted.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Coming late to all of this - I don't think anything much is a Marxist plot - mainly because Marxists just can't be arsed, in pretty much the same way that politicians or the political process can't be arsed representing or delivering what is best for the “people” they represent.

    How many Marxists does it take to change a light bulb?
    None, the light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

    How many ACT party members does it take to change a light bulb?
    Lets see how many can we get elected, and then on the basis of ACT

    pursuing social justice

    for all we will have the best light bulb following which surely it is only a matter of time before the country will eventually learn to

    close the gaps

    and revolve around ACT and screw the light bulb in while

    living off the smell of an oily rag.

    Sweet Zombie Jeezus Dr. Muriel Newman - They should record her reading her many tripe fuelled "discussion papers” and broadcast it to overcome rodent infestations. - See there was a legitimate purpose to her writing.

    I feel that anyone who identifies him or herself as being "Marxist" is a twat and likely an incredible bore with it, and any one who rails against the great "Marxist plot" is unbalanced and equally boring.

    With being racist – it is when you act with prejudice that the problem arises.

    The "in-group out-group bias" dynamic is interesting to observe.

    Living in Auckland I feel immigration, and the rort that it became, has been detrimental in a wide variety of ways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Apropos of hosting nastiness on your website, tigtog at Hoyden about Town argues:

    Website owners are publishers and editors – just like sending a letter to your local newspaper does not take away their choice whether they will or will not publish it in part or in full, a reader submitting a comment to your website does not take away your choice as to whether or not to publish that comment.

    from: Taking responsibility for what people say on your website

    Anyone who wants to know my full name can find it on my website. I don't have my full name splashed all over the web because I don't want to scare my students. Srsly. Also, in the past, when I first started commenting on teh web, I was a public servant, and I needed a degree of anonymity.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    how about everyone says that to Ben at the blend

    capital plan (not that I had anything of the sort in mind, oh no)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    But then, I really enjoy introducing "cool and interesting" people to each other

    couldn't believe you had not met Tze Ming before

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I only knit manly things.

    like yoghurt

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Islander,

    Te Ururoa Flavell – I challenge you: come stand up on any Kai Tahu marae that I have speaking rights on, and spout your tikokorerotiko to my face. You – are a nithing. You lack insight and compassion and your foul dessicating words only add pain to an extremely painful situation. Haere ki Te Po.

    Oh, just this. I'd also like to ask Flavell if he's ever been to a tangi/funeral/memorial service for someone who took their own life. In my experience, the "glorification" of suicide is so far from the storm of emotion I've know - sorrow, the survivor guilt, gratitude for the good times, a desperate gnawing awareness of things unsaid and undone and potential gone forever -- I almost literally feel like he coming from another planet.

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

  • DexterX, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Te Ururoa Flavell

    I can't see that his "hard stand" does anything other than put the boot into victims and their families.whilst generating column inches for him.

    Providing youth with a future and access to opportunity is something that he needs to work at rather than mouthing off.

    Talking to my mother aged 80, her view on his thoughtless comments are that it shows the lack of integrity and compassion that exists in parliament/politics today.

    She further considers that NZ has for her lifetime been "hard" for and on youth finding their way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Flavell et al have only reinforced perceptions of them as tools of the 'brown table'.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

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