Cyber bullying?

The team at TVNZ brought to the public attention how cyber-bullying happens to anyone who has even the smallest modicum of public presence by having some of their presenting staff read out tweets they have received or have been said about them on Twitter.

Here is that video

As a quick guide Matt McLean was called a “lying corporate whore”. Ruth Wynn-Williams was called a “c***”. Seven Sharp’s Dean Butler was told: “Don’t take this the wrong way but I really hope someone punches you.”  Helen Castles received a comment saying: “if you had babies I would want to punch them in the head.” Business presenter Nadine Chalmers-Ross was told: “you are dead boring…hot…but f****** dull”, while weatherman Sam Wallace was tweeted: “who do you think you are no one wants to see you strutting around you ruin my morning I hate you.”

I thought that maybe I’d get in on the act. Truth be told I pretty much never used twitter while I was working on air at various radio stations, but I received plenty of, shall we say, forward opinion on myself and my performance as an announcer.

Some selected statements from emails I received over the years

If Pat thinks that this is not true, or thinks he’s tough enough or righteous enough to battle the force of my indignation and the strength of conviction it has given me, then you have the address you useless dickhead -come over any time. Justice is here waiting for you, you hypocritical, overrated, wannabee.

Isn’t the show tonight a vast improvement without Pats idiotic presence.

Enough from me , but believe me , Brittenden is just not what ZB needs . He thinks he has all the answers , but unfortunately he does NOT .

It took me under 2 minutes to find out the address of your home

Would you please remove Pat Brittenden as a talk back host. He does not meet the standards required by the public and his attitude is shocking

Can you please tape Pat’s mouth for the rest of the evening, so I don’t have to hear another rubbish out of this man’s gap

You are a shocker, my 8 year old son could read the news better then You do, You read the news sort of like a rhyme the sound at the end of the sentences turned up an octave and on top of it there is a lisp and a lot of tongue around the wrong spots. Overall your program sucks, You are righteous and naive and at times sickening,

I had the misfortune to wake up briefly in the early hours and heard Pat (Pratt) Brittenden on air

At least that will highlight your stupidity.

You’re ugly brother

Know your belly was fake, but, the fat face double chin fake to??? What happened to weight watchers

PLEASE think before you open your mouth and put your foot in it in future

but I won’t really have to worry as will be listening to some other
programme!  

You obviously have no humour & the show is very boring & straight jacket style.

What an irresponsible parent you are.

You think You can fool the listeners, all You want out of it is a fat salary to support your family, there is no passion there – people can feel that- learn to deal with critics and don’t be insulting to your listeners, then maybe You’ve got a chance to better yourself

And although I wasn’t a big user of Twitter at the time, we did give listeners to connect with us via text. Here are some of the more colourful ones of those (spelling, grammar etc…hasn’t been corrected)

Please dont let that screaming lefty liberal pat come on.

You should quit talk back before someone comes up to radio works and smashes the Shit out of ya. You fucken wanker.

Hi pat i will tell you about you you are a know it all jumped up turd j

Sorry pat,please find alternative employment,u r not at all popular and regarded by most listenrs as a nieve sub-intelligenced geek.Try burger fliping at McD’s.

Pat your program is ‘shit’ we dont need 2 hear same thing repeatly!!

U fat FAGGOT BRITTENDEN.Ya all false.C u at Maungawhai.

yor so fuking thik u stupid cunt

Ur a fukn idiot how is a labour supporter automaticaly a peters supporter, no wonder u get th shit shifts

U twat, we all like childrens stories dont we! Yr not at school now. U r crap

Pc pat u SO TOTALLY SUCK .Pull your head in its talkback if we wanted music,we would be listening tn another station.Yeh yeh yeh U suk rsoul

There u go again i i me me ur such a bore no wonder the 0ratings are goin down u wont be there mch longer i hve on good authorty..

Hi pat, its maree from tawa here. I warned u not 2 upset me. U arshole. Please dont mes me about.

For me personally I don’t feel bullied, this kind of thing never bothered me, still doesn’t. I had instances where there were TradeMe treads talking about me and I remember one guys saying on one of them that I must have had the thickest skin in the world…when it comes to anonymous morons having a crack I do because I don’t really care what strangers think about me.

So I put some of these up in solidarity with my TVNZ brothers and sisters and to all those who think just because someone is in a job where you see or hear them in your home, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to have a crack whenever and where ever you want.

I  hope, if nothing else, at least you had a little smile at the spelling mistakes in the texts above ;)

 

Stand up NZ. Waitangi Day is your day!

To be honest, I cannot be bothered with people telling me that Waitangi Day is a day for Maori or a ‘waste of a day’ or anything else. Waitangi Day is our national day and you are the only person who can own it as such. The one group of people that piss me off more than any around Waitangi Day is the ones who choose not to celebrate it and blame Maori, or protests, or arguments or any other reason for them opting out.

I am sick of you.

If you love NZ, and consider yourself a NZer then you will celebrate Waitangi Day, our national day tomorrow, and if you find a reason not to, it you blame anyone else for taking away that sense of you and your national day, then I pity you.

‘Nuf said, here is a press release we worked on a couple of years ago that pretty much sums it up for me. Get a set of balls NZ and choose to celebrate your day.

Waitangi Day, a day for all Kiwi’s to celebrate

with a BBQ and a cold beer.

Self described Average-Joe Pat Brittenden is calling all New Zealanders to own their own national day and celebrate Waitangi Day with a good old Kiwi barbie. With the help of a Facebook page accessed via www.waitangiday.org.nz Pat is spreading his message of unity and railing against the apathy of so many New Zealanders towards Waitangi Day.

The Facebook page “Waitangi Day BBQ” challenges New Zealanders to ignore the bad press that seems to take over the headlines around Waitangi Day and celebrate the day as a day for all of us to come together and celebrate being kiwis.

Brittenden says it’s sad that a generation of people have settled for a sub-par national day, and that it has become no more or less special than any other day of the year.

“When people go to waitangiday.org.nz and ‘LIKE’ the page, it’s a way of saying ‘Yes, I’m going to own and to celebrate our national holiday!’” says Brittenden, “I want to challenge people who don’t usually do anything on February the 6th to do something. It could be a BBQ, a picnic, or a fishing trip, but the point is to do something positive to mark the day.”

Pat’s http://www.waitangiday.org.nz initiative has cross-party support with most political parties in the house.

These are some of the messages of support.

  • National Party: “It’s a day to celebrate the unique and ambitious treaty signed by our forebears in 1840, and the growing unity between Maori and other New Zealanders in our communities.” – The Right Honourable John Key – Prime Minister.
  • Labour Party: “…it is a day for all Kiwis to come together and celebrate a country that has much to offer its people.” – The Honourable Phil Goff – Leader of the Opposition.
  • Maori Party: “We all value our own histories and traditions, and with mutual recognition and respect, co-operation, and the utmost good faith, we have unity in our diversity. So gather round the barbie, and give thanks for what our ancestors have given us.” – The Honourable Dr. Pita Sharples – Minister of Maori Affairs

These statements in full and also statements of support from the Honourable Jim Anderton and the Honourable Peter Dunne – Minister of Revenue can be found on www.averagejoe.co.nz

Facebook users who have liked the page have also said things like…

  • “This is the most sensible Idea”
  • “Hey Pat. One thing I’ve noticed in north America is how they celebrate their national days. Both Canada day here, and 4th of July south of the border are huge! It be awesome to see kiwis being a bit more patriotic and coming together to celebrate our national day!
  • “Luv it, United we stand divided we fall and if our backs should be against the wall we’ll be together you and I.. Make it a good day, spread happiness.”

Pat Brittenden wants New Zealanders to take their national day and own it, to make it a day of celebration for all Kiwis to come together around a BBQ and be thankful for this great country we live in.

A delightful Pixar Short – La Luna

Recorded a short film off Sky Movies last week and just got to watch it with the kids. It is one of the most delightful short films I have seen in a long time, subsequent research then taught me that it was nominated for an Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards. Rightfully so…enjoy!

A new yardstick please?

Okay so there have been several times and several posts when I have answered questions about my ‘christianity’ and how some in the church question my thoughts or opinions or acceptance of certain things that perhaps they question. The other conversation that I (and I think we all) come up against is those outside the church world looking in and making sweeping statements about what a Christian is.

According to the book unChristian, which is a research document where 16-29 year olds were asked their thoughts on many issues inside the church, 85%-95% of this group thinks that the words ‘homophobic’, ‘judgemental’ and ‘hypocrite’ can be interchanged with the word ‘Christian’. So if you class yourself as a ‘Christian’ then nine in ten Gen Y-ers think that you are a homophobic, judgemental hypocrite and I have to say the Church hasn’t done much to disprove those accusations in the last 60 years…in fact in the last 1,000 years to be honest.

So when I see the Chaplin for the Senate of the United States of America offering this prayer to Senators I wonder if it is time for a new yardstick both for those inside the church and outside.

The words of Chaplain Barry C. Black are as follows

Let us pray

Have mercy upon us oh God

And save us from the madness

We acknowledge our transgressions

Our shortcomings

Our smugness

Our selfishness

And our pride

Create in us clean hearts oh God

And renew a right spirit within us

Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable, while being unreasonable

Remove the burdens of those who are the collateral damage of this Government shut down

Transforming negatives in positives

As you work for the good of those who love you

We pray in Your merciful name

Amen

I only hope his prayer was to a full Senate chamber.

So from now on people inside the church, or people of faith, AND people outside the church, how about we use these idea as our yardstick for what a ‘Christian is supposed to be’ as I am happy to stand alongside these biblically based ideas.

Outsider? Part One

This is a two part post of my journey to realising that I am very much on the outside of society looking in.

We’ve recently advertised a room for rent and some of the people responding to the advert have led me to understand something about myself that’s probably been obvious to most for a very long time.

Idoya and I are different from the norm when it comes to the church in New Zealand, I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘unique’ but many of our philosophies and ideas would not be considered ‘mainstream’ or ‘majority’ held positions in the church.

Case and point how we treat, and what we think of the gay community.

I had an experience in the weekend where I chatted with a delightful young Christian lady about our room (let’s call her Sarah), she seemed keen to move in, in fact Sarah went so far as to say she wanted the room. She was excited about some of the adventures into Christianity that Idoya and I have been on in the last few years and was very complimentary, encouraging, and excited by elephantTV.

As a side note, elephantTV is a resource primarily aimed at the church to help with controversial topics. We don’t take a position, we don’t endorse a perspective, we just provide information from different viewpoints all held within the church. We did this to help the church have these conversations in a safe, balanced, intelligent, unbiased way and to help members of the church understand how other Christians can have an opposing view to them, and still be ‘Christians’.

Back to the last weekend’s conversation.

Idoya and I were talking about Sarah and thought that we needed to be clear on a few things that may happen in our home, and maybe of a couple of philosophies we live by as we didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable in the future, and we didn’t want any guests who visit our house feeling uncomfortable either. We wanted to inform Sarah not because it had anything to do with her…but because there is sadly within the church an amount of lip-service paid to the idea of treating everyone equally, respectfully and with love, when at times the exact opposite happens.

Thus began the phone conversation

[Pat] So we just wanted to see how you would feel, if you moved in, having our gay friends around, maybe sitting together at the table and being affectionate with one another.

[Sarah] Yeah I’d be fine with that.

[Pat] So it wouldn’t make you uncomfortable? The last thing we want is to set up an environment where either you, or any of our guests would not feel welcomed in our home.

[Sarah] No I’d be fine with that…I would feel uncomfortable if they stayed the night in the same room.

[Pat] Okay, how about if it was an unmarried straight couple staying the night in the same room?

[Sarah] Yeah, I’d be uncomfortable with that as well for the same reasons.

[Pat] What is it was my wife’s sister and her partner visiting from Christchurch?

[Sarah] Oh, well that’d be a bit different because family is always okay, in fact it’s a bit hypocritical but my brother and his partner stayed in our flat in the same room not too long ago.

[Sarah] So can I ask you what your position is on what the bible says about homosexuality?

[Pat] Well I’d have to say that the majority of theologians say it’s ungodly and a ‘sin’, but there is a growing number of scholars, many of them younger, that are offering alternative theories on what the bible says and how it can be interpreted for me I don’t really have a ‘position’.

[Sarah] Do you think someone who is gay can be a Christian?

[Pat] Absolutely! I know too many people who are gay, who are so obviously in a deep meaningful, personal relationship with their God. I can see it in their eyes, hear it on their lips and witness it in their actions. But even apart from my personal view if one was to consider homosexuality a ‘sin’, and I’m not saying that is my position necessarily, what you’re asking me is if a sinner can be a Christian…I kind of think that’s a pre-requisite of being a Christian. But anyway, for me the ‘theological’ arguments behind homosexuality or that particular question is not really something I care about, or feel the need to answer.

[Sarah] Why’s that?

[Pat] Well there are a couple of really good clips on YouTube. One featuring Phil Snider and the other Tony Campolo. Phil points out in a very clever way how the church has made lots of ‘absolute claims’ in years gone by that sound a lot like what the church is saying today about the gay community, yet those absolutes from years ago have changed. Tony Campolo tells the heart wrenching story of a late night phone call with a mother whose gay son has recently committed suicide but finishes the piece explaining away one of the biggest misnomers that has been spread around the church forever and a day and that is the idea that we should “love the sinner and hate the sin.”

As an aside the ‘love the sinner hate the sin‘ saying was made popular by Ghandi in his 1929 biography where he incorrectly cited a piece of St Augustine’s writing. Correctly translated Augustine’s original text would be ‘with love for mankind and hatred of sins’ which personally I interpret as being about the issue of ‘sinning’ as a whole, not towards an individual person.

[Pat] Campolo explains that this misinterpretation, even though much repeated, is “just the opposite of what Jesus says” because what Jesus told people to do was “love the sinner, and hate your own sin.”

[Sarah] Preach it Pat

(Whilst this recount is not verbatim and I have definitely expanded on my thoughts to make my conversation more concise and intelligent sounding, there was actually a ‘Preach it Pat’ when I talked about ‘hating your own sin’)

I then quantified the conversation by saying that I wasn’t saying that either of these guys had all the answers; they were just points that resonated with me, and my philosophies towards people.

[Pat] I think that showing love to someone in my home is one of the highest callings, making people feel welcomed and accepted and loved is one of the most Christ-like things someone can do I think the church has messed up big time how she has handled the gay community and I think if you truly love someone, they will come away feeling loved and I think that the gay community, no matter what your personal/spiritual/theological/academic position is on them, have been treated appallingly by the church when it was her job to love them and worry about her own ‘sins’ of which there are a multitude.

[Sarah] Absolutely

So we left the conversation there and I honestly felt hopeful that maybe we’d found someone who may be smart enough, confident enough, and genuine enough to be, as Mother Teresa said, Jesus with skin on and we agreed to talk about it again in 24 hours to see what she thought.

24 hours later, the text comes through. A very polite and lovely toned ‘thanks but no thanks’, sadly I can’t say I was surprised.

It’s been 12 months since we filmed elephantTV and I have to say that I have been a little disappointed with the take up, and I think what the conversation with Sarah did was finally convince me that Christians are not ready yet to have genuine conversations about the hard issues. I think many Christians are fearful of having their mindset challenged and are concerned that new ideas might rock their faith. I have to say that I think we all need our faith rocked a little more often. Iron sharpening iron comes to mind.

I cannot say for sure why Sarah accepted the room and then after our conversation declined it, but my hunch is that we just don’t fit with the Christian majority narrative, of which she is a part.  I’m talking about the standard narrative about what a Christian is meant to be, do, act and think. We gave Sarah a scenario that may not have actually happened while she was living here, one of a gay or a straight unmarried couple sleeping over and that scenario was too much. I think Sarah is an example of where the church is at the moment. The church is enthusiastically wanting people to preach about loving sinners and hating their own sin, but not comfortable with what that actually means.

What would loving the drug addict, the paedophile, the thief, the adulterer, the manic depressive really look like? While at the same time we just worry about our own crap…nothing more, nothing less. I don’t think most of us can do it. I know that sounds really arrogant and trust me I am not holding myself up as the example here, I stuff up as much, if not more than the next person, but I think it’s true. For me it’s shown me that even to dream it, to hope to attain it, to love the gay community, or any other person or group with who shakes the traditional Christian narrative, with no agenda whatsoever, causes me to be on the outside looking in.

I realised the moment that I read that text that came through from Sarah that I was an outsider, and I’ve always been an outsider. That was the moment when it was finally made clear to me that I am a minority, that I don’t fit, that I can have nice conversations with people about issues, but when push comes to shove there is an invisible line that I am happy to jump across and think, and feel, and talk, and question that most are not prepared to do. Please don’t read this as arrogant, because the realisation is not fun, it’s isolating, and it only leads to two possible conclusions. Either I’m way off base and heading in the wrong direction…or the church is and neither of those outcomes are particularly attractive.

Part two of this post will be up early next week

Moving boxes again!?!

006This is just a quick note to let you know what is happening in my life and the life of my family this year which may be a shock to some of you especially if you know us personally.

It all started in November last year when a group my business was contracting to decided to not renew my contract. This has left me without a serious percentage of our income for 2013. Now I have already explained that this is how radio works, I don’t have a problem with the decision but the downstream effects on my family are financially severe to say the least.

We went from losing perhaps 80% of our company income to spending a lot of money finishing and launching our new venture elephantTV in the space of just a few weeks. This has left us with a fantastic product (which you can download from here), but scarce reserves.

So as of last Sunday we have decided, or maybe I should say it has been decided for us, that we need to leave Auckland as we cannot service our mortgage currently. Luckily we have access to a family bach down country (with no phone or internet!!!!!) and friends who live locally who need a place for 3 or 4 months while their house gets renovated.

I had a friend say to me today that I appear to be taking this very lightly, well there is a silver lining with most clouds and with this one the upside would appear to be Idoya has come to the realisation that this will be a perfect time to finish her first novel, and given the minimum time frame we will be away, in a place with no distractions, we have decided to reverse roles somewhat where I become a bit of a house husband and her new job of ‘X’ hours per day will be writing.

So that’s us, for those of you who know me personally I have no idea what my contact details come next Monday, what and how we will be contactable…but I’ll let you know. And for those of you who don’t know me personally but have been a part of my life through Facebook, radio, this blog or ‘other’ I’ll be around from time-to-time, and am sure I’ll be able to use my phone to access twitter and facebook if nothing else.

So we are off on a bit of a forced adventure, we may look back at the upcoming few months and realise that it was the best thing for us, we may not, but as I said this morning when a certainty is thrust upon you there is no real reason to fight it, or get angry…it’s called life and you roll with the punches.

If not before I hope to see you all in June…for my 40th ;o)

Public Statement about leaving Rhema

On Wednesday of last week I was informed that the Rhema Broadcasting Group would not be renewing Pat Brittenden Mornings for 2013. I was also informed that I personally would not be required for the new incarnation of the 9am to midday show.

From the outset I have always said that as a contractor to RBG that I may, or may not be required at the end of my current contract.

It has been clear since new radio management took over in the last few months that a talk product was not the desired direction in 2013 and last week the decision to move away from talk and back to a yet-to-be-finalised music product aimed at the Christian market was made official.

In the period leading up to that official decision I made it clear to management that I was prepared to look at working with RBG on a music format radio show as many of my 15,000 plus hours on New Zealand airwaves have been working in music along with, in later years, focusing on talk-radio but this offer was not accepted.

I want you to know that this is not a mutual decision, I made it clear that I was available in 2013 should RBG want to use me either in the current form, or in a new style show. They did not.

I hold no hard feelings about the decision, I made the offer to be a contractor at the start of the year, I negotiated the idea of being a contractor rather than an employee and this is one of the pitfalls of that decision.

I also want to state publicly that I am saddened that Rhema has decided to move away from the talk product, I think moving back towards a music product will make for a weaker overall station and will somewhat silence, good intelligent debate and challenging conversations and opinions that not only the church, but society needs to hear. The idea of steel sharpening steel has always been my desire no matter where I was working, it was no different at Rhema. In saying that I again acknowledge that it is RBG’s prerogative to do so, and accept the decision with no animosity and I do genuinely desire to see RBG succeed in everything she does.

I have potentially some very exciting opportunities lining up for 2013 including the television series I have been working on, elephantTV, the media and marketing business that my wife and I run and a couple of other things that need to remain a little more ‘under the radar’ at the moment. I will say as of today I have no other radio opportunities lined up and don’t know if you’ll hear me somewhere else in NZ…or not.

I wanted to put this in writing so as to dismiss any rumour or confusion as to why I have moved on from Rhema. There is nothing worse than the listener of a radio station not knowing what has happened to the host they built a relationship with over a period of time. You may hear rumours of survey results or money, I do not believe these are the main reason for the non-renewal. I believe it simply comes down to not fitting in with the picture or future direction of the station that the new radio management has, a bit of a square peg in a round hole, and that’s okay for those who haven’t worked in radio that’s what happens. A new style comes with a new management and you either fit, or you don’t.

I want to acknowledge the RBG Executive and Board for taking a risk on an announcer who was ‘the most complained about host on Newstalk ZB‘ and pay special credit to Terry Cobham who fought to have me in the building. Also to my executive producer, the back bone of the show, the woman whom I call the ‘CEO’ of Pat Brittenden Mornings, Nerida Ashcroft, what can I say other than “thanks…it’s been a blast!

My expectation as of today is to work out my contract which finishes on December 21st, I look forward to a fun three weeks of broadcasting as we lead up to Christmas and I wish New Zealand’s Rhema all the best for 2013 and hope that I can be involved with her at some stage again on some level.

I would very much like to hear from you if you are a listener of Rhema in the next three weeks, we will be doing a lot of Christmas talkback so hopefully you can join in.

If you would like to keep up with my exciting life in 2013 you can follow me here (I promise to get back into writing), or my facebook page, or twitter account.

Pat

UPDATE, Friday 30/11, 3.18pm

I am now at home after a brief chat with my boss. I need to amend part of the above post to say that I am now finished at Rhema. When I was told last week that the show would not be renewed I immediately asked for what the radio industry calls ‘gardening leave’ which basically means you wrap up on air immediately but are technically still employed by the business. I asked my immediate manager, and a manager higher up the food chain and was declined, but today I have been told that that option is where Rhema wants to go.

I am sorry to miss you people who listen to me and not to be able to wrap up the year together, but this is a standard way to finish a contract not being renewed and it means I can look to 2013 and figure out how to ‘pay the bills’ etc…

I have been told by a manager that there are some inaccuracies in the above post, and have offered to change those inaccuracies if they are pointed out to me. My offer was declined and when I asked what was wrong in the post I was told, “it doesn’t matter now, it’s done.” I still make the offer that if I have made an inaccurate statement in the above post, please let me know and I am happy to correct it.

Again let me finish by saying that I am not upset, angry or annoyed with this outcome. I accept that RBG has the right to change direction, and whilst mine, and many other opinions may not agree with the directional change, it’s the right of the group to do so.

Again I say all the best to my colleagues at Rhema, and I do wish all the best for 2013 and beyond.

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