Category Archives: Media

So why is it all right for women to be sexist about men?

By Mysterion

This week Sky Sport football presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys have lost their positions after being caught up in a sexism row. During an English Premier League game remarks were made about a female linesman (or linesperson, I guess), suggesting that she did not know the offside rule. They have since been sacked, which you may think is fair enough, except that these comments were made OFF AIR.

Aside from now being able to be punished for private comments, this incident also raises other issues. Giles Coren has written an excellent article on the hypocrisy of sexism.

Men are fair game for women. While sexism from men is the outstanding social crime of the modern world, women can say absolutely whatever they like about us.

For make no mistake: sexism is alive and well in this country and applauded in all quarters — as long as it is practised by women. And they are allowed to say the most terrible, terrible things.

What makes a great statesman?

By Mysterion

When asked what is most likely to blow governments off course, Harold Macmillan famously replied “Events, dear boy, events!” Unforeseen tragedies can have a dramatic effect on a leader’s popularity. One only has to look at the rise in approval for George W Bush after September 11, followed by a drop off after Hurricane Katrina.

The same can be seen in more recent events. The immense popularity of Prime Minister John Key could have been severely dented after the double blow in the South Island towards the end of 2010. Key’s speech after the deaths of the 29 Pike River miners were confirmed is fairly remarkable, and perhaps a pivotal moment in his Premiership. Times like these put politics into perspective, and Key performed admirably. The pain of the victims families was visibly shared by Key. Key rose above party politics at this point. Without being too mawkish, he was no longer the National Prime Minister, he was our Prime Minister.

A similar incident has occurred in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting incident. A tragedy such as this should not be about left and right, or red and blue. There is a time and place for a full discourse on why it happened, but now is not it. Bickering from both sides of the political spectrum has allowed President Obama to come in and rise above this. I may disagree with him on many points, but you can’t deny his oratory skills. His speech on the tragedy has been received warmly by many, even being praised by Fox News commentator Glenn Beck. It could also serve to boost his flagging Presidency.

As Obama would well know. As crass as it is, tragedies can be used to improve one’s standing in the polls. However there is a crucial difference between using a tragedy for your own ends and being seen to be using a tragedy for your own ends. It is all a matter of public perception. It’s why when John Key toured the damage after the Christchurch earthquake he was seen as a man of the people; but when the diminished Phil Goff does it, he is trying to capitalise.

I believe Queensland Premier Anna Bligh can expect a boost in her ratings in the next poll. The latest Newspoll has her disapproval rating at 67 percent, but she has performed with sincerity and grace in the face of the devastating Queensland floods. Not everyone can benefit from such situations of course. Julia Gillard seems to have a face and voice that is incapable of expressing simple human emotions, which isn’t a plus in events like these. Kevin Rudd had his faults as a Prime Minister, but I’m sure Gillard would kill for his common touch right now.

Imagine–an animal so mean that, when attacked, it defends itself!

by Leveret

So said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the United States Senator, UN Ambassador and Liberal Icon.  This was his response to the accusation he defended US interests too aggressively in that ‘august’ body. The grand and gentlemanly ambassador rendered it in the original French, ‘cet animal est fort méchant’ – which, of course, sounds far more refined. Continue reading

The Arizona Massacre

by Leveret

Too many pixels have been devoted to deconstructing the fatal shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Probably the best take was George Will’s:

It would be merciful if, when tragedies such as Tucson’s occur, there were a moratorium on sociology. But respites from half-baked explanations, often serving political opportunism, are impossible because of a timeless human craving and a characteristic of many modern minds.

The craving is for banishing randomness and the inexplicable from human experience. Time was, the gods were useful. What is thunder? The gods are angry. Polytheism was explanatory. People postulated causations.

And still do. Hence: The Tucson shooter was (pick your verb) provoked, triggered, unhinged by today’s (pick your noun) rhetoric, vitriol, extremism, “climate of hate.”

(whole thing here)

It was as predictable as it was disappointing that, without a scintilla of evidence, the Fourth Estate would exploit the tragedy to attack their hated enemies such as Palin, Beck and all those vitriolic enough to disagree with liberalism.

An excellent take down of the media from a newly discovered, but excellent blog Verum Serum here. Disgusting.

Anima eius et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per Dei misericordiam requiescant in pace.

The Assange Arrest

By Mysterion

There is an interesting article on the Julian Assange arrest in the Guardian here, which makes some interesting points. Most of the comments, however, seem to be things like this:

The whole thing is a charade designed to distract us from the leaks.

I have to politely disagree here. Although the timing is highly suspicious, there is nothing to link the arrest to his WikiLeaks activities. This case is about Assange’s personal activities, rather than the cables. Whether he is guilty or not, I don’t know. I couldn’t possibly judge. Unlike some on the left…

This has been perhaps the most worrying thing about the whole situation: a quite frankly disgusting attempt from the left to smear Assange’s accusers. It is interesting how quickly respect for women goes out the window when a hero of the left is accused of such behaviour. Here is an interesting article that shows the extent that the defenders of Assange have gone to try to discredit these women.

It is hard not to draw parallels between this case and the situation surrounding Roman Polanski last year. Not just because both men flit around the world to avoid consequence, but because of the way that people have tried to defend shameful actions in their private life because of things they have done in the public arena. The Guardian article sums up the argument thus:

…it also underlies the assumption that a man’s good behaviour in public life somehow neutralises bad behaviour in private…

This kind of dangerous thinking from the left leads to apologies from people like Whoopi Goldberg, who claimed that what Polanski did wasn’t ‘rape’ rape.  Well, no.  No one is above the law, especially with such despicable acts.  At the very least, Julian Assange has a case to answer in Sweden. And if it is indeed just to cover to deflect from the leaks, I’m sure that Assange will leak the documents himself at a later date.

It’s Christmas Time…

By Mysterion

…and as such all the Christmas songs come out to be played ad nauseam at supermarkets across the land. This year, Coldplay have tried to join the pantheon of such songs, possibly spurred on by comments by Kanye West declaring them ‘more talented than The Beatles’. So following on from John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Coldplay have put out their own Christmas song ‘Christmas Lights’.

Now I don’t actively hate Coldplay, but this is poor. The video is quite nice, though. And you have to appreciate the irony of the line “When you’re still waiting for the snow to fall, doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all” when Britain is experiencing record snowfall.

Farrar excoriates Anderton in somewhat unfair way

by Leveret

According to David Farrar, Jim Anderton doesn’t understand Proportional Representation because last week he wrote this:

But the most critical factor, crucial to victory, is the National-held “marginal seats”, many of which have been traditionally Labour-held seats. Their importance in any election result has been largely ignored. We only need to look to recent state and federal elections in Australia to see how important these seats are in determining the outcome.

Both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott spent what seemed like a disproportionate amount of their time in marginal seats. They knew only too well how important those seats were.

Marginal seats are oftetn pivotal to election victory and that’s where New Zealand’s election next year will be won or lost.

Farrar really rips into Anderton for his supposed stupidity. As they say, read the whole thing. 

Far be it from me to defend Jim Anderton. He is a pompous jerk and a thoroughly unlikable fellow. A parasite. He un-principally derives additional Parliamentary benefits from being ‘Leader’ of what is basically a fake political Party.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to believe that someone who has been in Parliament doesn’t understand the basics of our electoral system – especially given that he agitated for the change to PR for years.

I don’t think Farrar has necessarily read the piece with utmost care because Anderton also wrote:

As far as the “party vote” is concerned, the clear evidence is that where a major party is picking up electorate seats from its opponent, it is also increasing its share of the party vote.

The argument – i.e. that constituencies changing hands is symptomatic of a swing in the national mood. Granted, this was one sentence tucked into the middle of the article. Few people have ever hailed Jim Anderton as a great communicator, however.