The whole is ‘worse’ than the sum of it’s parts

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By now most New Zealanders will have heard about the claims of racism on the ridiculously named, and tragically awful ‘Real’ Housewives of Auckland. even if you have no idea what this ‘show’ is, you’ll had heard murmurings over the last week about the fallout between Julia and Michelle.

If you haven’t, long story short, entitled old white woman, who lives off her (and previous) husbands wealth, calls ex-model a ‘boat n****r’…fall out ensues, champagne is thrown in faces, lots of swearing and crying, women divide up into white/non-white groups.

There, all caught up.

The old, white, privileged woman is Julia Sloane, and she tells us that the term “boat n****r” is “an old boating term” and I am sure it is…among racist sailors. Having been involved in sailing for quite a large portion of my youth, and still knowing people who own and sail large vessels I have to say that I have never heard the term, but then again the people I spent time with on boats were not racists or, at the very least, liked to slip in and “joke” using racist terminology.

I’ve only seen (and will only see) one episode of any of the ‘Housewives‘ franchises which was last night and unfortunately it’s something that I can never un-see. It’s like if you were silly enough to see one of those ‘beheading’ videos on the internet, once you’ve seen it, you regret it and realise that it’ll haunt you until your dying days. But even though I have only seen one episode it’s very easy to see unequivocally that Julia Sloane is a moron. A dimwitted idiot who thinks hours after she speaks and for whom this ‘Housewives’ experience will end up only showing the viewers what a lacking individual she truly is. It does that same for the rest of the cast as well, as in not painting any of them in a good light, but as evidenced in last nights episode, Sloane will come out as the worst.

With that all be said, I have to say that Bravo New Zealand, in my opinion, is a whole lot worse that Julia Sloane. As we’ve already made clear, Sloane is dumber than a jar of snot, and has put her foot in it with an off the cuff remark…but the executives at Bravo NZ have made calculated and deliberate decision to benefit from this moment. The sum of the parts of last nights episode were disgusting. but the ‘whole’ which Bravo NZ brought together was even uglier.

The show and the offending “boat n****r” comment have been in the news since the weekend, lawyers have been engaged by the parties involved, and have advised Bravo on the best was to broadcast the episode (see ‘best way‘ as ‘way they are least likely to lose revenue‘). There has been promotion and publicity about the incident pointing people to the show to see what happened and then whilst Bravo made the decision to not have any advertising during the episode, they chose to play as many promotions for other programmes from their stable as possible which then publicised their product to what will likely be their biggest single audience ever.

I am not the kind of person who calls for boycotts as I think they rarely serve a purpose, but what I would like to know, from the marketing departments and CEOs of companies associated with and advertising during  the #RHOAKL what they think of the episode and the messages put out there and having their brands associated with it.

Bravo NZ and Julia Sloane you should be ashamed of yourselves, Sloane for being a revolting person with an ugly hidden vein of racism and Bravo NZ for being a corporate pimp. For putting out into the market place this episode which could have been left well enough alone but as you chose not to it means you have deliberately done one thing…profited off racism and promoted it to get as much bang for your buck.

Please don’t make me side with the rednecks

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There was an opinion piece that I saw in my timeline today by NZHerald columnist Lizzie Marvelly about the disgusting case of Nikolas Delegat assaulting a female officer in Dunedin and receiving 300 hours of community service and paying $5,000 in reparations as his punishment.

Let me state this from the outset, I think the New Zealand justice system is imperfect, sometimes the threshold and directives for sentencing are too lenient and at other times they are too harsh. I also believe firmly that minorities, and especially Maori, are treated unfairly and disproportionately severely when sentenced as compared to non-Maori. Marvelly’s own NZ Herald, pointed this out earlier this week when it showed that “Maori imprisoned at twice rate of Europeans for same crime

So, if you read nothing else from this post, be aware that I am in the camp that thinks the Justice System is stacked against Maori and that often for others, especially the privileged, the system is too lenient.

The problem with Mavelly’s opinion piece is that the Nikolas Delegat case is not an example of that in the current system.

To be clear, I do think Delegat’s sentence is too lenient, but with the current stipulations for the crime he committed, he did not get special treatment because of his families wealth which is the main crux of Marvelly’s piece. This also means comparing it to other sentencing becomes problematic because Delegat’s sentence was proportionate, in the current Justice System’s climate, to his crime.

Lizzie Marvelly wrote about the difference between the sentence of Delegat to Hautahi Kingi, a young Maori boy in Whanganui in 2007 who, according to Marvelly. “attacked a male friend who had recently taken up with his girlfriend, causing a bloody nose and a cut lip”. The truth is, again according to Marvelly’s NZ Herald, is that with a friend “acted as street thugs engaging in street fighting. There was also an element of premeditation in that Kingi had sent threatening text messages to his intended victim the week before.” So according to the record it was a bit more than a off the cuff punch up.

Needless to say it appears to have been Kingi’s first offence so when he was sentenced to 5 months prison one could start to look at the bias inherent in the justice system where Maori are sent to prison and non-Maori are not, unfortunately for that narrative there was also another person who was sentenced with Kingi for four months…and my investigations point to him as being Pakeha. If my investigations are correct and the Kingi sentence was the inherent racism in the system, why was his friend also sentenced? On top of that the prison sentence was then overturned and both parties had their convictions quashed, and served 200 and 250 hours of community service. This means they actually got an easier sentence that Nikolas Delegat. What this points to is a rogue judge who tried to instill a sentence that was inappropriate, as opposed to the system being broken.

The truth is that Lizzie Marvelly and I, it would appear, are in the same camp when it comes to Maori being sentenced more harshly than ‘the rest’, but I said it on ODTtv this week, and I’ll say it again, this is not an example of that.

The maximum sentence that Nikolas Delegat could have received for this crime, under the current system, was 400 hours community service as experienced Christchurch defense lawyer Grant Tyrrell pointed out on RNZ National this week. He received 300 hours and had to pay $5,000 in reparations…based on the criteria for sentencing that is not a ‘slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket’…that’s close to a maximum sentence.

If you now want to have a debate on the whole Justice system being too lenient and Mr. Delegat’s case being an example of that, then I am with you but please stop comparing this case, today, to the injustice that Maori face in NZ courts on a daily basis.

What Marvelly’s piece does is give oxygen to those who don’t want to acknowledge that Maori and treated more severely in the Justice System than non-Maori because, again, this is not an example of that. So what Marvelly’s good intentions do, is actually give all those rednecks and racists a valid comeback because in this instance she, and many others, have got it wrong. And what that leads me to do it sit on the same side of the argument as those disgusting people and I don’t want to be here, so please, please…I beg of you…stop it.

 

Sam ‘Tape Face’ Wills final #AGT performance

Sam Wills, a.k.a Tape Face a.k.a The Boy With Tape on His Face, has just performed his final time on America’s Got Talent competing for US$1,000,000.

Here is his performance in full

We’ll let you know, as soon as we know, what the results are tomorrow. Good luck Sam!

9/11 The Definitive Interview

57d4a86a9d2dc-imageAs crazy as it sounds it has been 15 years since I was sitting in the More FM Auckland studio at just before 1am when calls started to come in about planes crashing into buildings in New York. The next 24 hours is history and the subsequent years have fuelled debates about what actually happened.

This post is timed to upload at exactly, to the minute, 15 years since the first plane crashed into the first building.

On the ten year anniversary I brought together the media spokesperson for 911truth.org, Mike Berger, and the man in charge of 9/11 performance study 01/02, Dr Gene Corley about why the twin towers collapsed.

I interviewed each of them for about 10 minutes individually and then I let them chat to one another. I believe this is the definitive interview to explain what happened, and debunk any of the myths that surround the twin towers falling.

 

Colin Kaepernick. A true Patriot.

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The freedom of expression and free speech are just two of the cornerstones on which America builds it society.

Often we will hear commentators on the television telling the world one of the reasons America is ‘the greatest country in the world’ is because of their ‘freedoms’.

It would seem from the events of the past few days surrounding Colin Kaepernick that the truth is those same ‘commentators’ really mean that those cornerstones are great ‘so long as they align with me and my narrative.”

For those living under a rock Colin Kaepernick is the quarter back for the San Francisco 49ers and in the weekend he used his right of free expression and ‘speech’ to make a point during the national anthem. He did not stand up.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color, to me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Colin Kaepernick has used his freedom of expression, and freedom of speech to highlight an issue in American society where black citizens are being killed disproportionately by police officers and more often than not, those police officers are not held accountable.

Since then America has lost it’s mind because apparently this one form of free expression and speech is a step to far for many.

Donald Trump had some advice for the young professional athlete

“I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try. It won’t happen.”

But what people seems to be missing is that if America holds onto these ‘freedoms’ as an essential part of who they are as a country, then Kaepernick is in the perfect country to make this protest, and in some other countries, who don’t have those ‘freedoms’ he couldn’t do it.

I find the American devotion to the flag to be incredibly odd. To me the US seems cult like in it’s infatuation with the importance of the flag and approach the flag in a fervor that resembles a religious experience.

It probably stems from the fact, that there is actually statutes dictating how people should address the flag.

“During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in (military) uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.”

Title 36 (section 171) of the United States Code

I look at countries like North Korea, countries where there are no ‘freedoms’, countries where a tyrannical dictator makes the rules that everyone must follow on pain of death and that is where I would expect to see legislation like the Code above, not in the land of the free.

It would seem to me you can either have a society that has rules and statutes that you must follow and if you deviate there are significant negative consequences, or you have a society where people are free to express themselves. I don’t think you can have both.

It seems that many in America want to place a North Korean ideology on Colin Kaepernick of control and expectation of a way he must act, whilst still trying to claim that the society is built and functions on some great rules for life like the right to freedom of expression and freedom of speech.

Well, which is it America?

What I guess I am saying is that because of the ‘freedoms’ that Americans hold onto as such an important part of what makes them ‘American’, then the protest against the Star Spangled Banner and the American Flag is the most American thing that Colin Kaepernick could possibly do

Sexist, homophobic, racist…but that’s what we want in our sports commentators isn’t it?

Let me put my cards on the table. I like Martin Devlin, in fact if I am out and about between 9am and midday he is my choice to listen to on 693am in Dunedin. I think he is a amazing broadcaster and a nice guy but his rant yesterday to an abusive texter demonstrated once again that Radio Sport has an underbelly of misogynist, homophobic, sexist men who are now the only voice in NZ if you want to listen to entertaining sports commentary on the radio.

Whether it’s on Mark Watson’s show where they think that AFL is ‘bloody gay’ or the convicted criminal in residence who breaks bones in a woman’s back then he himself plays the victim card over and over again. A ‘man’ who is probably the only radio host in the country with his own offenders page on the Sensible Sentencing Trust website.  It would seem that the sentiment of degrading women and minorities is, if not encouraged, certainly acceptable to the bosses at Radio Sport.

To the issue yesterday, I do have empathy for Devlin having been on the receiving end of many text, emails and calls whilst working for Newstalk ZB up to, and including, death threats (I have an account of some of them here if it interests you) and many of us that have been in that position would have liked to do what Devlin did. In fact I’ll go so far is to say I agree with him that just because people work in a public space, no one has the right to be abusive to that person so it’s not what he did…it’s that the terminology he used to the abusive texter that demonstrates the underbelly of the ethos that is acceptable (at least to management) at Radio Sport.

As I said, many of us in the position that Devlin was in may have wanted to do the same thing, and I don’t actually criticize him for calling the texter out, however what I will point to is the language that he used to attempt to shame, insult and degrade the texter.

“Pussy bitch”
“You girl”
“Bitch”
“Pussy bitch”
“You girl”
“Girl”
“You girl”

See a pattern? And I haven’t been selective here, these were the only insults thrown at the texter. Devlin didn’t slip in a ‘coward’ or an ‘idiot’ at any stage, just the list above.

Every term that Devlin threw at the abusive texter wanting to shame, insult and/or degrade him or her was feminine. All the terms that Martin Devlin used to throw abuse back at, and insult the texter, either referenced a female, a female animal, or a female body part in an incredibly crass way.

When we think it is okay to use the way someone looks, or acts, or is…as basically a swear word, then we need to check ourselves. Isn’t it interesting that there are no real words we throw as insults to one another that represent white males, yet women, minorities and the LGBTI community all have representative words that we use to insult one another.

I am sure Martin Devlin didn’t mean to degrade all women by basically using their likeness or words that represent them, to hurl abuse at a texter but that then speaks to the culture at Radio Sport and somewhat to the culture in NZ.

There are words that we used to use like ‘hory’ and ‘retard’ that have gone the way of the dinosaur for good reasons. Now it’s time that we understand, and address that there are many more terms, that we feel comfortable to use as insults, that it is time to put into the annals of history.

#Rio2016 is a fairly good result for NZ

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Over the past few days I have begun to hear commentators and ‘pundits’ talking about how well we are doing (or ‘not’ as the case may be) at #Rio2016. Like those commentators I also had the feeling that we were performing pretty poorly this time round so I thought I’d do some research as to how terrible the New Zealand Olympic Class of 2016 is…and found out something quite interesting.

New Zealand, as New Zealand, has been competing at the Olympic Games since 1920, up to an including the 2012 London Olympics that is 21 appearances competing against the rest of the world. Over those 21 Olympics New Zealand has won Gold 41 times. By my account there are a total of 71 New Zealanders that have won a Gold Medal at any Olympics, including when we competed as Australasia. There have been four occasions when New Zealand has not received any Gold Medals (1920, 1924, 1932, 1948) at an Olympic Games and only twice where New Zealand has won over 3 Gold Medals (8 in 1984 and 6 in 2012).

If you add all these numbers together you understand that New Zealand averages just under two Gold Medals at every Olympics and if we get more than three it is an extraordinary event.

Which means if we look to #Rio2016 with this understanding we will see clearly that as we currently have two Gold Medals, and the chance of more to come, we are doing pretty well. Yes I agree that with 6 Gold Medals at the #London2012 we would have liked to see growth, but it is unrealistic when looking at the history of New Zealand competing at the Olympics that all of a sudden we would go from winning two or three Gold Medals to consistently winning 6+.

So well done to all the New Zealand Olympians and all you couch commentators remember if we can hit 3 Gold Medals that is a great result for New Zealand.

Oh an by the way, I still haven’t seen Mahe’s Gold Medal from #Rio2016 with the bullying control that SkyTV has over the footage…but that complaint is for another day.

 

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