Thursday, 7 November 2013

Where’s the tar and feathers?

“The nineteenth century lynching mob cuts off ears, toes, and fingers, strips
off flesh, and distributes portions of the body as souvenirs among the crowd.”
-  Ida B. Wells-Barnett, “Lynch Law in America,”
The Arena, January 1900

It’s fair to say that NZers like their issues small and provincial.

Rarely do NZers en masse display their emotions or grapple with big issues. But give them a flawed person on whom they can unleash those pent-up feelings and invite their moral outrage—a politician calling his colleagues “front bums”; an employers’ representative talking about women’s periods; a broadcaster chastising a lady with a moustache; a comedian impersonating an airline pilot; a group of teenagers allegedly preying on young women; radio hosts with the temerity to question testimony—and New Zealanders can be all over it for weeks in a feeding frenzy of self-righteousness, pointing in public at someone else’s vileness while keeping off the front pages issues that might affect them more directly and in more concrete ways (high rates, high taxes, the loss of important freedoms, the throttling of NZ’s biggest city) and about which they might actually be able to do more, but could care less.

Why talk about issues of more resounding import when you can rear up together and point and call names.

Sexist!

Misogynist!

Rapist!

Pig!

There are few things as menacing as a lynch mob stirred up with moral outrage.

Few things as cathartic as letting off a steam of self-righteousness with one’s peers.

Few things as self-satisfying as expressing one’s own virtue by loud public denunciation of another’s vices.

Few things as indignant as Groupthink out on a witch hunt.

And very little as unattractive.

Our penchant for small-mindedness while the world burns around us is perhaps our small country’s way of handling being small in a world where bigness seems to count. But it’s not one of our most attractive traits.

There ought to be a law against it.

21 comments:

  1. a group of teenagers allegedly preying on young women;

    Suddenly you don't think the sanctity of the individual is a big or important issue?

    A cynic might think you're not really committed to the concept if you're willing to throw it aside to score a cheap point by ignoring it.

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  2. "Our penchant for small-mindedness while the world burns around us is perhaps our small country’s way of handling being small in a world where bigness seems to count."

    Setting aside the crass and vile nature of your position on the matter of rape, I thought you didn't believe in global warming (Rand won't let you and all that)? Also you said a couple of posts ago how everything was cool with the world because of Hank Rearden and what not, and now it's burning all around us. What happened to make you change your mind?

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  3. the drunken watchman7 Nov 2013, 19:14:00

    well, I narrowed it down...

    Judge Holden is either PC, shilling up his comments section, or a woman. Or someone pretending ot be a woman. Just saying.

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  4. the drunken watchman7 Nov 2013, 19:33:00

    .. a woman with her knickers in a twist, that is :)

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  5. Yeah wheres the Police. why don't the Police do something. Its outrageous get the Police, hang them, castrate them, where's the Police. Len Brown who is Len Brown, what are you talking about , I have a short attention span to my hysteria where's the Police

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  6. I find the media trail and presumption of guilt, especially when the details are unknown, rather disturbing. I support the police in their conduct so far.

    I agree that rape is never the victims fault. The position of some, that girls are asking for it in the way they dress, or in the amount they drink is abhorrent. The instance of rape, non-consensual sex, needs to be established, however.

    The issue is one of consent and as the police have rightly pointed out, it's extremely complex and difficult to establish in retrospect with limited evidence. In the same way that it's incredibly damaging for a victim to endure rape, it's also a gross injustice and incredibly harmful to be wrongly convicted of rape, despite what you might think of the individuals' actions or morals. Cyber bullying etc. is a separate crime and if it has occurred then should be punished under the full extent of the law.

    Although Facebook and the extensive digital technology available to humiliate someone is a new phenomenon, underage sex and group sex is not. When I was at school, before Facebook (only just), this happened. I had friends, guys and girls I knew well who participated in this act on one occasion. While the girl was slightly younger, both were underage. Alcohol was being consumed excessively by all. The girl was not a passive agent but a willing and motivated participant in this dynamic. The actions taken by all parties might very well have been different if there was no alcohol consumed. I can't say how much, if at all, any of them regretted it later, after they had sobered up. I do remember a comment the next day that eluded to some regret on the part of one of the guys.

    Suppose that the girl felt regret the next day, or suppose the word got out amongst our peer group that this had happened. She might very well have gone down the line of laying a complaint to the police or making a public accusation to protect her reputation - given joe public's propensity to judge others' actions that don't concern him. We would be having this same public debate - especially if word got out at a later date, after the guys had turned sixteen but before the girl had. The guys involved would be suffering a gross injustice in being falsely accused of rape, and the girl would be publicly humiliated - all reputations would have been destroyed. This didn't happen because there was no Facebook then, and my particular group of friends had a relatively high socio-economic background which accounted for some discretion in a personal matter like this.

    This is not a hypothetical, this happened. The circumstances might well have been similar to those of the kids who find themselves in the current media storm. As public and media, we all need to be very careful calling for blood when we simply don't know all the facts. The justice system has a process for a reason. So far we've all made the situation far worse for those involved.

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  7. Shame on you!
    I suggest you put yourself in the shoes of someone who has been raped.
    The outrage is about people who are capable of this and therefore lack empathy. Its also about a gross failure by our police force

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  8. "It’s fair to say that NZers like their issues small and provincial"

    Yep its called the free market NZ style. Deal with it.

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  9. I fully agree with the sentiments of Peter, and my fellow poster, Anonymous. I too can recount similar situations at high school (and we're talking long before Facebook here - mid-late nineties!!).

    I may have damaged a long-standing friendship by sharing my opinion with my friend earlier this week about this whole debacle. Unfortunately this came about as a result of her blind leap to blame the likes of advertisers and Miley Cyrus for the situation, rather than looking a little closer to home for possible reasons for this kind of behaviour.

    Also, would an underaged male have the same level of sympathy heaped upon him if he was plied with alcohol by a young woman a few years older than him, and subjected to sexual acts in front of a camera? I highly doubt it.

    People talk about sexism, but it goes both ways.

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  10. This is an unpleasant bad situation made worse by the attention of wowsers, busybodies and idiots. PC is correct, there are more important issues to attend to. Leave this matter up to those involved (participants, parents & guardians, Police). Meanwhil consider carefully what is being done in the shadows, inflation of the currency, secret trade pacts with various governments, spying, war, tax, destruction of Auckland and so on.

    Amit

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  11. The issue is one of consent and as the police have rightly pointed out, it's extremely complex and difficult to establish in retrospect with limited evidence

    It isn't complex and the facts aren't much disputed by anyone. Both assailants and victims have publicly recounted similar facts.

    And sex with 13 year old girls has, legally speaking, little to do with their consent.

    The police are being excoriated not as much for having not acted (because people were debating what they could have down on flimsy evidence) as obviously having been incompetent or uncaring as evidenced by their bullshit stories about not being able to act through lack of complaints.

    As is usual an effort to avoid accountability has revealed greater problems than were first expected.

    Suppose that the girl felt regret the next day, or suppose the word got out amongst our peer group that this had happened. She might very well have gone down the line of laying a complaint to the police or making a public accusation to protect her reputatio

    Were you not trying to claim people should not act in an absence of evidence? Yet now you try to fabricate a straw position so as to blame possible victims for their assault.

    People are rightfully indignant over this situation because the facts aren't in much dispute - some youths plied young girls with alcohol to take advantage of them and appear to have boasted to committing at least the crime of unlawful sexual connection if not rape, and the police are suspected (increasingly because of having misled the public about events) of not caring for the safety and welfare of girls exposed to assault.

    This is not 'small and provincial', this speaks directly to the individuals rights of safety, agency and autonomy and for a self professed libertarian to throw aside core libertarian principles so as to have a cheap sneer at people for daring to care about it brings their commitment to principle very much into question.

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  12. "Were you not trying to claim people should not act in an absence of evidence? Yet now you try to fabricate a straw position so as to blame possible victims for their assault."

    Yes I was. No I am not fabricating a straw position to victim blame. I'm illustrating why someone who's not a victim (of rape) might make the accusation all the same.

    Rape is serious. An accusation of rape (especially one publicised) is also serious though - one that should not be made lightly.

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  13. I think you are on thin ice, when you appear to trivialise sexual assault, it's a bad look. Just ask a couple of radio show hosts from radio live.

    B. Whitehead

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  14. Amit likes calling people rapists, except as it happens, when they're actually rapists. Then he starts going on about non-existent currency inflation. Libbos are defective units.

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  15. Holden

    You are telling lies again. Turn off your febrile imagination. Cease the faux outrage. Go back and read what I actually did write.

    As an aside, you are writing as though you are prosecutor, jury and executioner in regards to this "roast busters" situation . You do not have the authority, professional knowedge, expertise or even possession of sufficient fact to do this. On this matter your opinion is just so much noise & uneducated bluster. You merely repeat what people better informed and well superior to you have already disclosed. Your "contribution" is without worth. The matter is not your business. It is the business of those directly involved.

    As far as currency inflation is concerned, your habitual lies do not alter the fact of its existence. It is important and it is affecting every holder of NZD (not to mention certain other currencies).

    Amit

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  16. Please provide us with your erudite statements directly comparing advocates of public roads to rapists, Amit. They're very interesting given your current stout and forthright defence of actual rapists.

    I suggest you buy gold Amit. Gold! Glenn Beck will sell you some.

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  17. Holden

    Now you are dissembling. First you pretended I alleged a specific person was a rapist but now you say it was a comparison. Go back and read what I wrote for you are still wrong.

    Holden, you are indeed nowt but a liar. Here is yet another example of it. You write, "given your current stout and forthright defence of actual rapists." I did not defend actual rapists anywhere in my posts. I did make the point that this particular matter was not your business (a point you have yet to address or acknowledge). Notice also that you are once again pretending you are the NZ Justice System when you lable people involved as "actual rapists"- guilty without trial, without even being charged, without even being arrested. It's all just dishonest bluster from you, completely lacking substance. These individuals may be guilty or they may not be. Some might be and some might not be. Whatever the case you do not know. You are not involved. You have nothing of value to contribute. It is not your business. Leave it to those involved. Let the facts be established.

    Amit




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  18. You directly compared a commenter who suggested public roads weren't inimical to freedom to a rapist when you said this:

    "Here you have revealed the mentality of a thief and rapist. It is, ultimately, the mentality of the violent murderer."

    Now you declare that discussing actual instances of rape are none of anyone's business (which indicates you have no problem with the Police's inaction in this particular case). You've been owned, suck it up, Amit.

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  19. Agree with you entirely Peter; it has been pathetic to watch.

    "..Few things as indignant as Groupthink out on a witch hunt.." - sums it up nicely, and I suspect it will get worse with the Judith Collins/Ann Tolley directed prosecution and conviction as the cherry on top.

    A slag is a slag is a slag and no amount of crocodile tears will change that.

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  20. "A slag is a slag is a slag and no amount of crocodile tears will change that."

    You know you've lost when Lineberry agrees with you and paraphrases your conclusion. Poor Peter.

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  21. Holden

    Good that you've returned to the original post at last (& I hope you read properly in its entirety this time because you clearly failed previously). It is good you went back because what you once again demonstrate is you are a liar. You ought to be embarrassed getting caught out in your lies over and over and over. As can be read I did not accuse "Larry" of being a rapist, which is what you have since pretended several times. What I did point out was that the idea he promoted (that of being able to access another person's property without reference to the owner, simply since that was more convenient than working for it or trading for it or trading for the use of it) was the mentality of a rapist and ultimately that of a violent murderer. It is not of my doing that you either can't grasp this salient point or choose to tell lies to avoid it. Either way the intellectual shortcoming is yours. That is damning.

    Since that post you have singularly refused to consider the point. Instead you dissemble into the cant, Amit accused Larry of rape. Lately you've gone on to a pretence that I defended "actual rapists" and when you got caught out with that canard you retreated to a new one, this time that I applaud alleged Police inaction. Will you ever grow up to yourself and stop wallowing in dishonesty? The facts reveal you to be a liar again and again and again. A bit of advice for you Holden, you are far to intellectually shallow to get away with making up lies. Your efforts are much too crudely obvious to fool readers. Nowt is fooled but Holden.

    Lately you wrote this. "Now you declare that discussing actual instances of rape are none of anyone's business." More lies Holden. I did not write "none of anyone's business". I made three points.

    1/. PC is correct.

    2/. This matter is not YOUR business. On this matter your opinion is just so much noise & uneducated bluster. You merely repeat what people better informed and well superior to you have already disclosed. Your "contribution" is without worth. You have nothing of value to contribute. Again, the matter is not your business.

    3/. This matter is the business of those directly involved. You are not involved. Leave it to those involved. Let the facts be established.

    To this now add a forth.

    4/. Holden, your lies are crude and easily detected. Your lack of intellectual ability results in you generating lies in a failed attempt to compensate. That same lack of intellectual ability results in your lies being easy to spot.

    Amit

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