Posts by John Russell

  • Up Front: Dropping the A-Bomb, in reply to Moz,

    To me, one argument for absolutely unconditional access to contraception and abortion is that we have rather a surfiet of humans and anything that allows people to choose not to reproduce should be encouraged.

    This is certainly one argument for abortion, although obviously a stupid and laughable one.

    However, it doesn't matter, because however dumb and bad and specious the reason (see above re: Multhusianism), it's her body, her choice, and therefore up to her.

    It doesn't matter if she wants an abortion because of possible health issues for her or for the foetus, because she is pregnant by rape, because she has exams coming up or because she thinks all the cots you can buy would clash with the wallpaper in the spare room.

    People may disapprove of her reasons, but who cares, fuck them, it's not their call. It's hers.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Up Front: To the Letter,

    ...lulled him into a false sense of security by planting things in the garden right up to the time we left.

    Right, as the yoof would say, In The Feels.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Hard News: Rape and unreason, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    I don't think I have a "potential to rape" - I don't think most men do.

    That's cool. From the perspective of women, however, every man (including you, and me) definitely is a potential rapist. Or could maybe physically assault them. Or could, at the very least, lean out of a car window and yell unwelcome shit when they're going about your business. Which is the very same thing you complained about, earlier, when it happened to you that one time and hurt your delicate man-feels. Imagine if you got that shit every day, just because you were Walking While Female?

    In saying that all men have that potential to do so I think we're telling those that do that they are somehow beholden to a natural instinct. I think it normalises their behaviour.

    There are so very, very many sexual assaults that happen, Dylan. I'm pretty sure that's not being caused by one really busy rapey guy. This behaviour doesn't need to be normalised, it is normal. And unacceptable. And if the consequences of trying to fix or reduce it is that you or I have to think "Well, that doesn't apply to me!" then fine, that's a small price to pay.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Hard News: Friday Music: History, motherfuckers, in reply to Dean Papa,

    The validity of the statement that women think more with their hearts than minds, WITH RESPECT TO TASTE IN MUSIC, is totally and utterly irrelevant. The bone of contention here is whether me, Simon, or anyone for that matter, has the right to even suggest such a thing.

    Of course you do. You can say what you like, it's a free country. It's not consequence free, though. People who read what you, Simon, or anyone else writes are equally free to roll their eyes, point and laugh, or just sigh heavily and pull their hands slowly down their face while saying "Buhhhhhhh!"

    Why do they claim to be so offended? I am not at all offended by the statement, which applies equally to the male gender,

    "...and I, after all, am the anointed one, the golden child, the exalted archon who decides what is, and is not, offensive to others. Whereas you guys just, like, ASSUME you know what's what."

    I should have the right to speak my mind without being battered down by aggressive feminists. It is bullying, plain and simple!!

    I don't think anyone has suggested you don't have that right. You should cite where this happened.

    Go ahead, we'll wait.


    Anyway, I'm late to this party, but I've been pretty much indifferent to Sweetman's work forever - he appears to hate a lot of music genres just because, and his gig reviews are really bizarre. I remember reading a review of a gig that I was at (sadly, it was a while back, and I can't even remember the band .. an Amanda Palmer solo gig, maybe? Or the Dresden Dolls?) and it was an AMAZING night, it went off like a rocket, so naturally Sweetman's review was utterly negative. I mean, utterly. The band sucked. The opening band sucked. The sound was bad. The crowd were bored. His drink was warm. Someone was on his lawn. Milk doesn't come in bottles any more. Why does no-one READ these days? And so on. I read this review, and I genuinely thought the band had played a disasterous second gig. Sweetman's review, including his descriptions of the audience reactions to the music, was completely divorced from what I experienced and observed. I presumed that when he said by "the crowd" was him and his friends. Or, you know, just him.

    My current rule of thumb when reading his work is (literally, this is true) to assume that he is 100% wrong. I hadn't actually heard any Lorde tracks, but after reading this PA piece about his review, my genuine reaction was "Oh, Sweetman hates it? It's probably good." So I got the EP, and yeah, of course, it's fantastic. Royals has been stuck in my head for the last day or so.

    So, thanks for that, Simon. Turns out that if you're know a signpost will be wrong, it can still guide you home.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • OnPoint: MSD's Leaky Servers,

    Amazingly terrible IT work, leading to excellent journalism. So at least there is symmetry.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Hard News: Killing Volume, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    There's a simple aesthetic pleasure about the tactile and olfactory experience of dead trees in hand that no amount or gadgetry can ever match.

    Replace "dead trees" with "vinyl records" here, and this is exactly the sort of response I was speaking of earlier when I talked about niche markets.

    Secondly, gadgets break, power goes out, batteries go flat. Those who are now dependent on all the fancy new technology are setting themselves up for a hell of a shock. High tech is good, but sometimes old tech and low tech are best tech.

    It is true that when society collapses and we regress to a hunter/gatherer pseudo-civilisation, I am going to find it quite difficult to read even the Project Gutenberg collection.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Hard News: Killing Volume, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I guess I don't buy as many magazines as I used to but this just silly. I don't believe that a computer is the end-all for media consumption. Would you apply the same reasoning to (physical) books as well?

    Yeah, I would. I haven't bought a physical book since I got an iPad. Dead tree books are heavy, awkward, low-density pains in the ass. I expect that, much like vinyl records, physical books will become a niche market for people who simply must read on paper. Or trophies - it's quite hard to get an author to sign your ebook.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Up Front: I'll Be in My Bunk,

    I searched for Music of the Gays on iTunes. Doesn't exist. Very disappointed. Watching old Glee episodes instead.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Hard News: Christchurch: Square Two, in reply to Emma Hart,

    If you want your handcuff key back, you're going to have to solve a series of puzzles, each more fiendish than the last.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

  • Up Front: That's Inappropriate!,

    This persons job involves having short-skirted schoolgirls kneel before them? Presumably on command? Their job. Their actual job?


    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 17 posts Report

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