Muse by Craig Ranapia

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

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  • Kumara Republic,

    I should also add that on the other hand, there would less likely to be a Facebook boycott page if it was Bruce Howse or Stephen Williams being the subject of the book - and they were both convicted with little or no doubt.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Cecelia,

    It’s about Wishart in my book.

    It is, for you and me.

    I'd been steering clear of the Facebook page(s) in question, but this blog post has a sample. For a lot of people, it seems to be very much about Macsyna King.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I see what you mean. Even worse than when I first looked at it a few days ago. I was thinking that the book announcement had touched a nerve in the population and although the reaction was expressed in a irrational manner, it was nevertheless an understandable one. Looks as if I was wrong.
    However, Paper Plus was not responding to this violent nonsense was it? Didn't they hear directly from customers as well as react to the Facebook page in its earlier days? The owner of Unity books expressed her own private distaste.
    I have always felt somewhat sorry for Macsyna King and Chris Kahui. Lives so out of control ... Such a miserable mess.
    Maybe someone clever on this site can analyse the mob reaction. What is causing the semi-illiterate people on the Facebook page to take it over and call for violence?? Mob psychology, or something else?

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’d been steering clear of the Facebook page(s) in question, but this blog post has a sample.

    Thanks, Russell. Those quotes (and sadly, I don't think they're outliers) are why I wasn't going to drive traffic to the damn thing with a link.

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

  • Andre Alessi,

    I’m surprised that the attitude that “People can buy the book directly from Wishart’s website” has been allowed to pass without comment. Not everyone has a credit card, and not everyone has internet access. So yes, for some members of the community, if major retailers choose not to stock a book it is as good as a ban.

    I would also really appreciate it if people didn’t keep comparing King (or Wishart for that matter) to Hitler. It’s such a horribly inaccurate, loaded analogy on so many levels. And for the record, the moral problems with Mein Kampf have very little to do with the content of the book, which is the same sort of chest beating ethnic triumphalism that was all too common at the time (and, some might argue, still is to a degree.) It was what its author did after he published the book that cause people to question the moral consequences of the ideas espoused within.

    EDIT: Having reread the above comment, I'm siezed by the uncomfortable feeling that it didn't clearly make my opposition to the ideas of Mein Kampf obvious (I'd like assume that this was a given, but...) I'll let it stand because it's Monday morning and my brain is still warming up.

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

  • Sacha,

    Tapu Misa agrees with Craig.

    But, at the risk of becoming the second most hated woman in the country, I will say that when Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case is published next month, I intend to buy it and read it. I, for one, want to hear what the Kahui twins' mother Macsyna King has to say.

    Why would I not?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    The thing that I most dislike about this kind of moral panic is the way that it’s mighty counterproductive. Way to give the book a whole lot of free publicity

    I commented on Kiwipolitico this morning:

    One point made to me over the weekend by someone who knows Wishart and by another who is in the publishing industry was that they would not be surprised to find that Wishart himself started the Facebook page in order to prompt a boycott/ban. The benefits would be to a) give him a victim position and so be defended by people who ordinarily wouldn’t have a bar of him , and b) drive all the purchasing via his webpage. Not sure I believe he’s that clever, but just putting it out there.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Mark:

    I'm not comfortable having that allegation (which is all it is) repeated here without porn star hard evidence backing it up.

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

  • BenWilson,

    He could be that clever, but I doubt he's really driven by money. For him it's what it is for most authors, the desire for as many people as possible to read them. I highly doubt he would like having his books taken from shelves, considering the cost of print, the effect it will have on his future chances of publisher backing, etc. But the moral outrage isn't something I see him disliking, he would never have chosen the subject if he was scared by the idea of it.

    But I'm almost talking myself around to thinking the Facebook page isn't so bad after all, because of this. This does appear to be something the nation really wants to discuss, and if the moral panic drives the discussion into the foreground and enables some NZers to actually take account of King's words, however outraged they are by them, that's possibly not so bad. It's a learning experience for the mob, too. Be careful what you mob against, you may end up promoting it!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    One point made to me over the weekend by someone who knows Wishart and by another who is in the publishing industry was that they would not be surprised to find that Wishart himself started the Facebook page in order to prompt a boycott/ban.

    Nah. I think it's vastly more likely that he's simply made a major miscalculation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Tapu Misa's column is good, but:

    Because nobody should profit? Wishart is a former award-winning journalist, who now edits the conspiracy-loving Investigate magazine. I'm not a fan of the magazine or the books he's written, but to suggest, as some in the media have, that Wishart should have turned his back on the chance to gain some insight into a case that, five years down the track, continues to generate such strong public interest and emotion, is frankly hypocritical.

    Isn't an issue for me. Wishart is so reckless and agenda-driven that I wouldn't be holding out a lot of hope for "insight" from any of his work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Nah. I think it’s vastly more likely that he’s simply made a major miscalculation.

    Me, too.

    Craig, I was making no allegation, just mentioning a possibility as suggested to me by someone else. Delete it if you want, but that would be ironic, wouldn't it?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Isn't an issue for me. Wishart is so reckless and agenda-driven that I wouldn't be holding out a lot of hope for "insight" from any of his work.

    I'm not so sure. He says "All she wanted was to tell her story so that others would learn how people slip into an abusive lifestyle, and to shed light on the twins murders.". Any information could be insightful, regardless of whether Wishart is pushing some conservative agenda (as he so often does), because the people involved have kept so silent. It is investigative journalism, something we're always clamoring for. Pity it's people like Wishart doing it, but something about him must have appealed to King - perhaps it's just that he would dare to take her seriously and give her a voice.

    My main problem is that I can't get interested in the story itself. There's altogether too much news about horrors, FFS some baby was found in a plastic bag in a stream today.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wishart is so reckless and agenda-driven that I wouldn’t be holding out a lot of hope for “insight” from any of his work.

    Neither would I, but I think W.H. Auden made a rather astute observation: "Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered." And, to be frank, I have enormous regard for Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins but when they start up on the "religion = psychosis" meme, I find the signal to noise ratio painfully low.

    Craig, I was making no allegation, just mentioning a possibility as suggested to me by someone else. Delete it if you want, but that would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

    If I wanted something gone it would be gone - never you mind. I just hoped a polite warning would be taken in the spirit in which it was offered. Honestly, if I'm going to risk being sued this ain't the ditch I'm going to die in.

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

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I’m surprised that the attitude that “People can buy the book directly from Wishart’s website” has been allowed to pass without comment. Not everyone has a credit card, and not everyone has internet access. So yes, for some members of the community, if major retailers choose not to stock a book it is as good as a ban..

    Although, as Craig pointed out. Auckland Libraries will be stocking copies.

    Even if major retailers were stocking the book, where do you draw the line? Do we require them to also stock a large-print verison? An audio book version?

    It was what its author did after he published [Mein Kampf] that cause people to question the moral consequences of the ideas espoused within

    My working hypothesis is to assume everyone reading this is able to make that distinction, and note that part of the discussion was what would a bookseller in 1920's Germany, unblessed with 20/20 foresight, do?

    I also think that your edit was unnecessary: anyone daft enough to think you might have some sort of affinity for the ideas of Mein Kampf can be dismissed pretty easily.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I also think that your edit was unnecessary: anyone daft enough to think you might have some sort of affinity for the ideas of Mein Kampf can be dismissed pretty easily.

    Quite. Anyone who’d pick Andre and any kind of fascist-symp would have to be looking through a very thick pair of beer goggles. :) But I guess that’s why argumentum ad Hitlerium is such an effective de-rail. Who the hell would want even the possiblity of being smeared with that poop?

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

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Rich Lock,

    My working hypothesis is to assume everyone reading this is able to make that distinction, and note that part of the discussion was what would a bookseller in 1920’s Germany, unblessed with 20/20 foresight, do?

    Well, if that's the case then my point about the analogy not being appropriate still stands. What does that situation have to do with the King/Wishart one at all, other than the implication that the action of selling both books is somehow morally questionable in hindsight? It doesn't even speak to the social pressure being brought to bear on booksellers, since that wasn't the case in 1920s Germany, and that is very much the issue in this discussion.

    There are plenty of other examples of books that were threatened with suppression by the court of public opinion. There's no reason to risk Godwinning this discussion by bringing Mein Kampf into it.

    I also think that your edit was unnecessary: anyone daft enough to think you might have some sort of affinity for the ideas of Mein Kampf can be dismissed pretty easily.

    I perfer to play it safe on this particular topic. While I'm sure there aren't any anti-Semites amongst the regular PAS commenters, I'd rather not have my words taken by some bigoted lurker to indicate even tacit support for the ideas presented within Mein Kampf.

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

  • recordari, in reply to BenWilson,

    baby was found in a plastic bag in a stream today.

    Apart form the natural human response while watching on the news last night, it sickens me further to think of the potential for another innocent to become part of a media beat up, or a political sound bite.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to bmk,

    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.

    Yeah, I’ll be mighty disappointed if Wellington City Library doesn’t end up choosing to stock Wishart's lastest. It’ll be obvious that a decision not to stock it was the result of the very things the principles of the Library Information Association say not to take account of: “… 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”.

    (Not that I have any interest in reading it myself.)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Parks,

    (Not that I have any interest in reading it myself.)

    That goes for 99% of what's in the Library, for me. But it is a big place.

    Grats on 1000 posts btw.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I should bring to mind the Sex Pistols’ most notorious single. The Beeb and almost every other radio station refused to play it. Mainstream record stores blacked out the offending entry on their singles chart boards. Yet the notoriety only helped its sales.

    And urban legend has it that it really hit #1 but was rigged at #2 by the BPI for fear of causing a music industry panic.

    Yet somehow Macsyna King has none of the saving graces of Johnny Rotten.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    urban legend has it

    I have a bunch of references on how that happened.

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

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