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Don’t worry, be happy

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, November 13th, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: The Standard - Tags:

Like everyone else, I don’t read the Listener or Kiwiblog, so it was 3 months until Anthony drew this article to my attention. Apart from nearly falling out of my chair laughing when Farrar’s voice is described as “gravelly” and raising my eyebrows when I read National had the power to shut Kiwiblog down, the bit that caught my attention was oil and gas shill John Pagani saying The Standard‘s “idea of political is embittered and angry” (in contrast to Farrar’s supposedly more relaxed style). Allow me to respond.

First, I don’t buy that analysis. Only the politically naive look at Farrar’s blog and don’t see the calculation and dog-whistling behind every post (save the endless travel pictures – which is why I gave up reading). And one of the trademarks of The Standard from the start has been self-depreciating humour. Whenever an author writes about something involving themselves, we tag it ‘vanity post’ and we don’t seek personal attention because it’s the issues that matter, not us. Contrast that with the way Farrar desperately tries to inject himself into every story. (I don’t know about the style of the blog Labour paid Pagani to write was angry because no-one I know ever read it)

Second, damn right I’m angry.

I’m angry that 400,000 New Zealanders are unemployed, jobless, or under-employed while the elite pockets billions in tax cuts.

I’m angry that our civilisation is cooking itself alive, and knows it is doing it, and yet the elites value their short-term interests over protecting our climate.

I’m angry that the people who work the hardest, often into an early grave, are the least rewarded by our economic system while the elite gets richer and richer, demanding an ever larger slice of a cake that is no longer growing.

I’m angry that the elites are constantly lining up for public hand outs – tax breaks, irrigation subsidies, covered stadia, bail-outs etc etc – while those same elites say that New Zealand, as one of the wealthiest country’s that has ever existed, can’t afford to end poverty.

Fundamentally, The Standard is anti-elitist. That sets it apart from most other blogs and most political commentators. And that’s what drives the anger. Because the world and this country are unfair – needlessly, unjustifiably unfair – for the vast majority of people. And I – we – believe those people matter.

Of course Farrar isn’t angry, neither is Pagani. They represent the elite. Why would the elite be angry? They have the world that they want; it works for them and no-one else.

Pagani doesn’t want change any more than Farrar does – for them, politics is a competition over who gets to be king of the castle for the next three years, not about tearing the castle down and building something better.

So, I’m not sorry if The Standard is angry some times. The fact is, for most of us, when it comes to politics, there’s a lot to be angry about. And the audience clearly agrees – that’s why this is the most-read blog in the country.*

 

*what about Slater you say? Have you ever seen how few comments Slater’s posts get? Isn’t it odd, given that viewership and comment numbers are so tightly linked on other blogs, if he’s getting so many hits and so few comments? The truth is, he artificially boosts his hits by posting lots of images of girls, cats, and guns – three of the biggest google images searches. He’s using hits via google images to fake his viewership.

53 comments on “Don’t worry, be happy”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    amen

    • Dr Terry 1.1

      So what is wrong with “anger” appropriately expressed?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        exactly. The Right have always tried to tamp down the passion and feeling of the Left by insisting that discussions are entirely analytical, quantitative and intellectual.

        BECAUSE they know that tapping into peoples passions and beliefs is something that theLeft can do much better than they can.

        • Bob 1.1.1.1

          Could that be because peoples passion and beliefs, while overall well meaning, can cloud their intellect and analytical thinking? i.e. after the 2007 rugby world cup our passionate rugby loving nation was divided over whether or not to sack Graham Henry, I fell into the clouded belief that he had had his chance and blew it and was in the ABGH (anyone but Graham Henry) camp, the NZRU took an intelligent and analytical view of the situation and after a long review, found him to be the best candidate to take us through to the 2011 RWC. We all (well there are some that don’t) know how that turned out.

          Passion and belief are great, but not if that is all you are relying on.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Eddie, all you need is a $50,000 company provided car, Koru Lounge membership, Platinum Air Points credit card, guaranteed 5% to 10% pay rise this year, and Summer holiday skiing in Aspen so that you too can be a calmer, less angry person.

    What recession? What unemployment problem? Poverty? Where?

    • Saccharomyces 2.1

      Yep, and there’s nothing stopping anyone in this country from getting that, if they work hard and make the right decisions. Worked for me!

  3. Thank you for that article it quite clearly spells out how we all feel about the “Nasty Nats” with their nasty policies.

  4. King Kong 4

    Fucking elitists. Hogging all the political blog readership. You should be spreading this equally through all the deserving blogs on the internet, even though some don’t update posts, put much effort in or even paint their roofs when they should be blogging.

  5. Mighty Kites 5

    HAHA, most read blog in the country. That is gold, thanks for making my day with such a good joke. Top stuff Eddie, top stuff

  6. Disraeli 6

    Ignoring Whaleoil and whether there’s any cooking of the books, so to speak… isn’t Kiwiblog still ahead of the Standard in terms of being more well-read? So the Standard would actually be the second most well-read blog in New Zealand, if you exclude Whaleoil.

    • crashcart 6.1

      Being read often doesn’t really mean read well. I often picture the people reading it as speaking the words out load slowly to them selves.

    • Oh dear Disraeli; you shouldn’t point out inconvenient truths to the Left.

      And oddly, the bloke who compiles the blog rankings, Ken from Open Parachute is certainly not from the political Right. He obviously believes the Sitemeter numbers far more than Eddie and co do. It would seem that the green-eyed monster is not only alive and well, but dwelling right here at The Standard 😛

    • lprent 6.3

      Depends on what is being measured doesn’t it? DPF asserts that the near doubling of page views from October last year (the month before the election) to October this year is due to flaw in his site that didn’t count page views apart from the front page.

      October 2011 251558 visits 341158 page views
      October 2012 321752 visits 600641 page views

      Now I suspect that Eddie is somewhat sceptical about that rapid rise just after we started regularly outperforming his site on page views (visits is a problematic measure as sitemeter and statcounter measure them quite differently). Personally I haven’t really got the time nor inclination to use the wayback engine to read the source and find the absence or presence of the sitemeter code in the relevant location. So I just take his word.

      It is a rather meaningless measurement anyway because of the different ways that sites operate, the differing measurement tools, the differences in comments and words etc

      But the last time that this claim was made in a post was in 2010 or 11 and it was specific to being the most read political blog (that travelogue again – I’m like Eddie. I stop reading KB whenever he goes on holiday and it sometimes takes months before I look again).

      • Disraeli 6.3.1

        I’d imagine that the Standard would get more page views and Kiwiblog would get more unique visitors. For the very simple reason that sane people who don’t comment on Kiwiblog don’t need to click the individual posts, which you have to do for the Standard. Which therefore gives the Standard more page views. However, DPF has done a good job (give him credit) of sort of becoming blog central for New Zealand. There’s links to a lot of other political blogs on his pages, he’s more mainstream than most, and so on. So I suspect he has more unique visitors.

        So you could probably both make the claim of being the most well read blog in NZ.

        Although I’m still not sure I buy into the Whaleoil conspiracy, but I’ll let more tech savvy people ponder that.

        • lprent 6.3.1.1

          For the very simple reason that sane people who don’t comment on Kiwiblog don’t need to click the individual posts, which you have to do for the Standard

          Yeah which is why a near 100% increase in page views for clicked in pages is interesting. Clearly some very obsessive page refreshers over at the sewer.

          But when you look at the patterns that people use jumping between pages here (you can see it on analytics), they mostly do a single jump from the front page into a post and either use the next/previous post or the jump to comment. It appears that only old fogies like Irish and myself (~14%) of users do the up down traversal.

          Edit: Ummm on rereading that it all sounds like a sex manual

          So I suspect he has more unique visitors.

          Unique visitors is an interesting one. I’ve come to the conclusion, as I watch them steadily rise out of step with either page views and visitors, is that they’re unrelated. I think that they related to two things

          1. google – one of our highest page view posts of all time has a picture of milk bottle. It also has an inordinate number of unique visitors who saw that page and no other.

          2. age of the site. When I remove the highly googled posts, you can see a steady rise in the numbers of unique visitors who read more than one or two pages that is almost largely linear and unrelated to our annual cycles. It is related to electoral cycles. In each of our two elections we have a increase in unique visitors which continued after the election.

          Our one or two page unique visitors is declining as a proportion of our unique visitor count. But there is a spike every time that one gets up high in google images. This happens less these days as we mainly put thumbnails at the front page.

          Kiwiblog is somewhat older than here 9 or 10 years compared to 5 years. I’d expect his unique visitors to be larger just from that alone. But what would be interesting is how often they visit.

      • David H 6.3.2

        Not only that I have a computer logged in here from 6 am to about 9pm everyday whilst doing other things most days. I may visit Kiwiblog twice a month and Slater’s slime bucket once a blue moon.
        And sa I am an old fogie, I use the up and down method 🙂

  7. The Standard kicks National’s arse. I’m ‘happy’ with that.

  8. 12 people commenting hundreds of times a day is more biscuit club than well read. Just sayin..

    [lprent: Ah no. Even CV barely managed 25 comments yesterday out of the 400+ comments and he is by far the most prolific commentator on a daily basis.

    I keep a pretty careful eye (or rather one of my programs does) on IP ranges in use on the site. This was specifically to deal with some people who did like jumping handles – mostly d4j but also some other nutbar trolls back in 2008-9. These days it mostly helps when people manage to get their handles or e-mails wrong. But I also keep a close eye on parliamentary IP ranges for astro turfers and people hopping in using redirectors (mostly by using geoIP to look at where people commenting are coming from). These days the fastest way off this site is to either abuse the authors and operators or to do something that looks to me like they’re fiddling the comment system. You’re periously close to the former.

    FYI: Yesterday we had just under 3000 unique visitors reading the site according to analytics, and about 125 commentators from my quick rough SQL. Which bearing in mind the politically addicted in NZ is pretty good. ]

    • felix 8.1

      12 in this thread already. Reckon your maths is a bit off.

    • Uturn 8.2

      Yesterday the claim was that 11 people do all the commenting. So the Standard is even increasing its amount of active participation from La La land dwellers. You can’t get more inclusive than that.

      • King Kong 8.2.1

        The under 16’s like Muzza etc, only count as a half

      • Jackal 8.2.2

        +1 Talking about la la land commentators, I notice that Whaleoil hasn’t managed 20 comments on any of his posts today. That seems to imply that his stats are grossly over-exaggerated somehow, or his viewers are thicker than batshit and cannot string a few words together.

    • Indeed it is, well done to you. Pretty close to 40% of the unique visitors to Whaleoil yesterday.

  9. prosaic 9

    I read the Standard occasionally (it’s the only blog I read), I’ve never read Kiwiblog or Whaleoil (and haven’t read the Listener for about 10 years–too focused on privileged white people and baby-boomers). I support ‘the left’, hate National and John Key and vote along Green/Labour/Mana lines (so I’m not a ‘troll’). I would read the Standard a LOT more often, however, if it were less…hmm…’embittered and angry’, perhaps? Quite right to be angry about all the issues outlined above. But I find the style of the posts to be generally overly emotive and not objective enough to be persuasive. More objective posts would be more informative and give readers the space to think critically and make up their own minds rather than badgering them into a view with angry and bitter point-scoring. Posts here are often, dare I say it, a bit petty. Take the opening line of this post, “Like everyone else, I don’t read The Listener or Kiwiblog.” Quite obviously, thousands of people DO read those and saying it with this put-downy tone just discounts those people (you don’t have to like them or agree with them but you don’t need to dismiss them as non-existent). To defend John Pagani’s criticism of The Standard it isn’t necessary to try and point-score against those blogs with a criticism that isn’t even a criticism–ie, that the author doesn’t read them. It’s just a petty put-down. Perhaps most of the Standard’s readers like the style and tone. Or perhaps it would have more readers if the posts were less emotive and more balanced and informative. Just saying.

    • King Kong 9.1

      Interesting points you make but from my perspective, measured lefty whinging is incredibly boring. The spittle flecked, lunatic keyboard thumping is what keeps the crowds coming back.

      Whaleoil and here are terrific examples of that. The bonus with the Standard is that the multiple author format brings even more entertaining traits like “delusions of grandeur”, “fat cat neurosis” and “mistaking 2012 NZ for Dickensian Britain”.

      The recent attacks from within on the Labour party have been particularly entertaining.

  10. The Stepper 10

    Sorry to be a pedant, but I think in the second paragraph you mean “self-deprecating”. I’m not sure what “self-depreciating” would look like but I suspect it’s unpleasant.

  11. Rhinocrates 11

    I used to despise The Standard actually, considering it intemperate, but… well watching Network again and realising that today it’s not satire but prophecy fulfilled and already having read enough Harlan Ellison, it feels comfortable.

  12. Rich 12

    the endless travel pictures

    Does he still also keep printing pictures of actual women who actually spoke to him?

  13. tracey 14

    I see the girl from keys visit to mt albert 2008 is now living in australua. Along with, apparently a quarter of those in the programme she was in. Thats more newsworthy than whether farrar, whale or here is better or bigger. To settle it once and for all lets cut to the chase and have a public measure of farrar, whale and the onwer of this sites penis’ followed by a pissing contest. Cos thats whats important, right?

    • King Kong 14.1

      No one has quite worked out how to keep the gut fat out of the way long enough for that to happen.

  14. Steve 15

    Typical liar claiming a title that is not earned nor deserved.

  15. tc 16

    DPF, Oil, Pagani, PG etc show their narrow views and prejudice by dissing TS and claiming an undeserved placing, but when has that ever stopped the priviledged.

    A quick trawl of their offerings and the many positive comments from folk who I’ve pointed at TS (as they’ve come from countries with some independant journalism still) really tell you all you need to know.

    unless you’re blinkered to your fellow citizens struggle and pine for an unequal society which rewards the elite few at the expnse of many which sums up the NACT’s MO.

  16. “Of course Farrar isn’t angry, neither is Pagani. They represent the elite. Why would the elite be angry? They have the world that they want; it works for them and no-one else.”

    They are angry because they believe they deserve more, they want to turn NZ into a second world shit hole with slaves to suck their toes, and they are succeeding.

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