Bad: The Michael Jackson Hysteria

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 pm, March 7th, 2019 - 187 comments
Categories: boycott, capitalism, International, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , ,

Radio networks in NZ, Australia and elsewhere have decided to terminate with extreme prejudice the music of Michael Jackson, following the release of a new documentary alleging the King of Pop committed extreme sexual crimes.

Like a disgraced Politburo official in a retouched photograph, Jackson is to be erased from the public consciousness.

How sad and pathetic is that?

We do not know with absolute certainty that Jackson himself has done anything wrong, though, obviously, there’s plenty of reason for suspicion.

We do know that Jackson’s music has definitely done nothing wrong.

So why can’t we be trusted to make our own decisions about what we listen to?

Why are new generations going to denied the chance to hear some of the greatest pop songs ever written?

There is a long history of banning music and generally it doesn’t work. My favourite example of this is the chimurenga music of Thomas Mapfumo, which often used cleverly disguised allegories about animals to criticise the racist Rhodesian government. Subtle, but still got him jailed, of course.

And, sadly, Mapfumo is still writing protest songs; this time chronicling the many disappointments of the Zimbabwean people since liberation.

Famously, Margaret Thatcher may have scuppered the UK career of Split Enz when Six Months on a Leaky Boat got the chop, but their popularity back home soared.

And in 1969, the idea that a woman might enjoy sex was too much for broadcasters worldwide.

The Nazis, of course, were quite keen on banning things. Books, art, ‘degenerate’ music; all verboten. Ironically, Hitler’s own paintings have , on occasion, been bought at auction by people who said they intended to destroy them. Again, you’d have to wonder what crime Hitler’s daubs have committed. 

Even the Beatles saw their records publicly destroyed when John Lennon controversially pointed out that, to some kids, they were bigger than Jesus.

Image result for burning beatles records

And I suppose we can look forward to Hauraki and the Rock banning Led Zeppelin.

Just kidding; they’re normal.

Just like this lot.

I do know what it’s like to feel a bit queasy about certain music because of the activities of the artists. I can’t listen to Radiohead or Nick Cave without feeling that their support for apartheid Israel has cheapened their music.

It’s complicated, I guess.

To be fair, I’m not a big Michael Jackson fan, I don’t often listen to the kind of stations that usually play his stuff.  So this isn’t going to really affect me or my listening habits.

However, I always thought the sentiments of this song, and the ground breaking video that accompanies it, were terrific.

I’m kinda pissed I’ll never hear it on again on NZ radio. That just doesn’t seem fair or proportionate to me.





187 comments on “Bad: The Michael Jackson Hysteria”

  1. Incognito 1

    Pathetic posthumous punishment for alleged actions by a defenceless dead person.

    If you want real controversy about banning music from an artist (in an indirect way):'s_music_in_Israel

  2. The movie producers are making a financial killing out of it.
    The only reason I can see for this fiction.

  3. AB 3

    It’s a misunderstanding of the nature of art.
    The artist’s personal virtue or vice has little influence over the art that gets made.
    That’s why (say) a repellent, Tory racist like Philp Larkin could produce something as staggeringly beautiful as The Whitsun Weddings.

    • Phil 3.1

      The artist’s personal virtue or vice has little influence over the art that gets made.

      Woody Allen’s entire filmography begs to differ.

  4. McFlock 4

    I think the position of the post fundamentally misunderstands why the stations aren’t playing his music. It’s not an ethical decision, it’s a marketing decision.

    I think that they think that people don’t want to listen to someone they think was probably a child molester. That some don’t even want to listen to companies that support that such a person.

    I think they’re right, and that this goes for folks who are adamant that the allegations are lies, as much as it goes for people who believe the boys. We can’t think ill of our heroes, and we can’t think good of the villains.

    There are other questions, too:
    Is there a double standard regarding gender and consent? Yup.

    Are there issues to confront as to why we remember and re-judge simply because a streaming company or studio financed a documentary, when much of it was public knowledge for decades? Yup.

    Whether those issue are “let it lie” vs “why did it take so long” is also a conversation to have.

    Jackson changed the game when it came to music and performance. I was never a huge fan, but I knew enough to know how influential he was. But there is that shadow of doubt. Am I boycotting his music? That would be easy to claim, as I hardly ever listened to him before. But if he pops up in the playlist, maybe I’ll be quicker to press “next”.

    This comment is badly structured and I apologise for that – it’s been worked on for a while, and probably needs an edit. I also wanted to avoid parsing the allegations/evidence/characters and getting into that sort of argument.

    • Jess NZ 4.1


      Comparing this ban to political activism bans is fallacious.

      It’s pretty tone-deaf to dismiss the ban’s merit if you have no sexual abuse history touching your life – easy to say ‘his music didn’t do it’ if his music doesn’t remind you of the artist as a person and the clouds of smoke of suspicion and credible accusations even during his life.

      I grew up with Bill Cosby’s humour and some of it is embedded in our family jokes, never to be forgotten. It’s quality stuff. However, when I feel tempted to pity the old guy getting led off to jail, I think about all the (also) old women who had to spend their whole lives dealing with his attacks somehow.

      Also to consider is: how much MJ’s music DID contribute to his problems, which then rebounded onto others. MJ had a horrifically abusive childhood and freaky life by anyone’s standards, primarily to focus and profit from his talent so the world could enjoy his music. He was yet another superstar victim of superstardom, and he paid the ultimate price eventually.

      It’s a tragic story all around. When I (not very often) what MJ looked like by the time he died, I already feel squirmy. Pretty ironic he wrote a song saying “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white” when he destroyed his entire face trying to look white. There are several of his songs with similar second meanings in context of the accusations.

    • ropata 4.2

      Correct, MJ isn’t banned and this isn’t an exercise in destruction of art. In view of a recent documentary where 2 of his victims speak out in graphic terms, there is widespread public disgust at the man and the actions of his estate in covering up.

      If everyone is disgusted by Catholic Church, a sacred and venerated pop star like MJ is certainly not above reproach.

      A sick and twisted little man. I for one never want to hear the song “pretty young thing” ever again.

    • gsays 4.3

      I generally agree with what you have put, McFlock.

      The only distinction I would make that it is a commercial decision rather than marketing or ethical

      • McFlock 4.3.1

        fair call – I don’t really see much of a difference between marketing and commerce. both parts of the same cake that’s different from the ethics and morality cake.

  5. RedLogix 5

    A brave and well written post TRP.

    It is a tough question in some respects; there are boundaries that we do impose on artifacts such as Nazi memorabilia that speak directly to a repugnant ideology … but Jackson’s music in question here does not.

    Indeed many artists will openly tell us that once they’ve launched their work upon the world, it takes on a life of it’s own, quite separate from anything it’s creator had in mind.

    If anything stories like this should remind us that the world is not divided between good and evil people; the line between the two snakes across every human heart. Jackson may well have been a very fine artist and deeply loved by millions; but like all of us, his inner life was the same chaotic jumble of motives we all draw upon.

    Yet astonishingly enough, from within each of us we can discover gems of great beauty and brilliance.

  6. Sam 6

    There is no reason to feel insecure about Micheal Jackson at this late, late stage. Only reason to catch feelings and reasons when ever a Micheal Jackson song comes on is because it moves you. I’m to grown for talking bad about the dead.

  7. Commercial radio is about getting people to listen to advertisements, not about music, culture or anything else. If Michael Jackson is suddenly highly unpopular with the station’s listeners for whatever reason, best he disappears off the playlist or there might be fewer people hearing the advertisements. Nothing personal, just business.

    • tsmithfield 7.1

      They assume he will be unpopular. But I bet a station that picked up the Michael Jackson songs would suddenly gain huge popularity.

  8. gsays 8

    I know it may not be a popular opinion but Bill Cosby’s early humour is still funny.
    for example: Noah, Buttbuck Slushball…

    Picasso was an arse, lets not have any painting burnings.

    In defence of Radiohead, Thom Yorke said that playing in Israel was not an endorsement of Netanyahu and his regime, as playing the US was not an endorsement of Trump.

    Thanks TRP for this, its three in a row on a provocative subject (MJ, Mark Taylor and Gun Club).
    I have been in step with your opinion on each, quite unusual.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks, gsays. I do enjoy writing posts that have a philosophical or ethical element to them and they do seem to generate a lot of thoughtful and considered comments from the TS whanau.

  9. tc 9

    Media companies thrashing about being ‘relevant’ in the hope it wins them more ratings points IMO.

    They have no shame as it’s an undefendable reputation they can use and abuse. Marketing loves that.

  10. Chris T 10

    While I don’t particularly care about whether Jackson’s music is played or not played as it is dross, it is a stupid move.

    If, as was frankly pretty blimmin’ obvious the dude was a freak kiddy fiddler, his music didn’t do it he did.

    Same with Harvey “Can I play with my schlong in front of you” Weinstein and his movies.

    Fight Club isn’t suddenly an evil movie because of Spacey

    The whole thing is stupid hysteria

    Reminds me of the current rewriting of history in the US with all the tearing down of statues

    And the pick and chose who must be banned and who is alright is hilarious

    Where are the calls to change the name Washington and destroying half of Mount Rushmore, because two of the Prez’s were slave owners?

  11. marty mars 11

    Yep some put their own persinal pleasure above all else especially victims – bit like Jackson did.

    • mauī 11.1

      Jackson was a victim himself.

      • Jess NZ 11.1.1

        But nobody wanted to stop the cycle of abuse. They just wanted MJ to perform and make money, and he wasn’t stopped because of his artistic accomplishments. That’s what needs examination.

  12. Kevin 12

    If social media is anything to go by, people are pretty outraged by this.
    Public opinion is heavily in favour of leaving his music out of it.

  13. James 13

    Hosking was playing Michael Jackson this morning. #TopMan.

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      By not taking a stand against Michael Jackson, both he and you are enabling child molesters.

      Your definition.

      • mauī 13.1.1

        Seperate the man and his artistic achievements.

        • marty mars

          Bullshit. They are entwined. They are tainted. Change Jackson to Rolf Harris and see how you feel. It’s all just cos you like his music – yep it’s that superficial.

          • Kevin

            I have I missed something here?
            Has Jackson been convicted of something I haven’t heard about?

            • Jess NZ

              He was never convicted of actual sexual assault (multiple allegations, one accusation settled out of court, one jury finally returned not guilty), but some highly inappropriate behaviour was a matter of record.

              What would you think of, say, Justin Bieber or Bruno Mars, if he regularly invited multiple young boys to stay at his house? And also admitted he got into bed with them to go to sleep? Is that OK – no worries, nothing to see here? Can you even imagine that being allowed to go on?

            • McFlock

              We need a court order to not listen to music, now?

          • solkta

            Almost as superficial as Jackson’s music.

            • Kevin

              Does this mean we will now get everyone posting youtube clips to prove their superior musical taste?

              • solkta

                I didn’t say his music was inferior i said it was superficial. Some people like superficial.

                • Sam

                  Yawn, only superficial is you. You mention his songs but leave out the good ones :p

                  Anyway, he rightly deserves the whacko jacko name, as without his money he would have been institutionalized long ago. But hey, he’s a celeb. Normal people are crazy and disturbed, celebs on the other hand are “eccentric.” I would’t be surprised that if he hadn’t had his money and celeb status to hide behind he might have gotten the psychological help he needed.

                  For the rest, a talented singer and one of the best dancers of all time. Never seen so much talent wasted.

                  • solkta

                    I haven’t mentioned any of his songs. Pop music by its nature is superficial.

                    I do agree that he had some great dance moves. I wouldn’t rate his singing particularly. My comment was in response to marty talking about his music.

                    • Sam

                      Well Michael Jackson wasn’t the Prince of Pop for just his dancing. Perhaps Jackson did donate hundreds of millions to children’s charity just to be sleazy.

                      But him being a genuine child molestor, he was genuinely inapproriate and creepy.

                      Mike clearly had deep seeded emotional and mental problems, and his wealth and stardom got him completely surrounded by the wrong sort of people.

                    • solkta

                      The Prince of Superficial. Thanks for that.

                    • Sam

                      That contradicts itself.

                    • solkta

                      No it doesn’t.

                    • Sam

                      Fodder. Your arguments do not impress.

                    • solkta

                      It is you who have to put up an argument. You said that saying “The Prince of Superficial” was contradictory yet you give no reason.

                      And as for not being impressed, i think you have mistaken me for someone who gives a shit.

                    • Sam

                      I said all that did I? What ever. I know what I said because I know what I believe. And I believe in practising forgiveness after death.

                      If we had failed to practice forgive after the death of Hitler then we might well have slaughtered every last German. For the sake of victims and mental health, always show them the road to Damascus.

                    • solkta

                      I said:

                      The Prince of Superficial. Thanks for that.

                      Then you said:

                      That contradicts itself.

                      And i said:

                      No it doesn’t.

                      And you said:

                      Fodder. Your arguments do not impress.

                      So i said:

                      It is you who have to put up an argument. You said that saying “The Prince of Superficial” was contradictory yet you give no reason.

                      And as for not being impressed, i think you have mistaken me for someone who gives a shit.

                      No point in discussing any further since you can’t even follow what you are saying let alone what i am saying.

                      And i am completely fucking lost as to what Nazi war criminals have to do with me saying that Jackson’s music is superficial.

                    • Sam

                      Micheal Jackson is just too big for you. Perhaps you’d like to discuss what’s on the front page of the New Zealand Herald with the other geriactrics next to Eco maari.

                    • solkta

                      Since you have nothing to say perhaps you could consider not commenting.

                    • Sam

                      Take your own advise, discuss something else.

          • mauī

            So you can’t appreciate human genius if it comes from the mind of a (possible) monster? You may have noticed that some of the best minds have unique mental abilities that are often entwined with mental health issues. Because of their mental state unethical actions are much more likely as I see it.

            • Jess NZ

              Makes it a lot harder to celebrate and want to encourage, ah-yep. Especially since his issues may have derived from abuse as much as from genius.

            • marty mars

              He did music mate he wasn’t a genius. He was exploited and became the exploiter. He emotionally connected with people and it was all lies. His victims are the heroes and geniuses – to take that abuse from such an esteemed figure and still live to talk about it – wow.

              • solkta

                Ummm, i think there have been many music makers who could be considered genius. You can start with the great classical composers and work through to the contemporary:

                Exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.


                Jackson though is very definitely not one of these.

        • Jess NZ

          And like so many other abusive artists, he wasn’t stopped because of his artistic accomplishments. How can you compartmentalise that, with any integrity?

          • mauī

            I guess I put him in a different category from other artists who seem to have deliberately used their power for their own ends. Jackson seemed to have his own mental struggles and I think he was led more by those than his privileged position.

            • solkta

              I can’t think of any more a “own end” than sexual gratification. He deliberately used his “power” to entice boys into his bed.

              • mauī

                Except you make out that his goal was to abuse and forget he was actually a man living as a 10 year old child with a home built Disneyland. Which raises more questions.

      • James 13.1.2

        I think you will find he has been found innocent of all charges laid.

        Quite happy to ignore that fact arnt you.

        Not surprising that an idiot like you gets his info from a tv show and ignored the courts.

      • Gabby 13.1.3

        He’s dead mutton.

    • Jess NZ 13.2

      So you’re being guided by Hosking? Hmmm, that should be the first clue it’s wrong.

    • Gabby 13.3

      #Horeskinvirtuesignallingsnofwake jimbo.

    • mosa 13.4

      IMO listening to Hosking is far more damaging than hearing Thriller or Billy Jean.

  14. esoteric pineapples 14

    No one seemed to have a problem with Gary Glitter and his music being blacklisted from radio, TV etc. Personally, I still enjoy listening to GG’s music and prefer it to MJ’s.

    • Glitter still makes a small fortune out of song royalties. In particular, one of his songs is a crowd sing along staple in American sports stadiums. However, he’s currently banged up anyway, so the dosh isn’t much use to him.

    • Same here re Gary Glitter’s music – still enjoy hearing it. Mind you, the lyrics to Do You Wanna Touch Me, about girls just pretending to be shy and and how a bit of whisky can get around that, has connotations that didn’t occur to me listening to it as a 12-year-old…

  15. tsmithfield 15

    I find myself in total agreement with the article.

    Jackson was acquitted previously of the charges, and those in the documentary gave testimony that contradicts what they are saying now. So either they were lying when they gave testimony, or they are lying in the documentary.

    I certainly don’t rule out the possibility that Jackson was a pedophile, and wouldn’t be at all surprised if he had been found guilty at trial. The point is he wasn’t, and all that is happening now is trial by media which he is unable to defend against given he is no longer here.

    Pathetic behaviour by radio stations etc. Probably most artists would have exhibited objectionable behaviour in some way or another. That being the case, we probably shouldn’t be listening to any music.

    • Jess NZ 15.1

      It would have been very hard to return a guilty verdict for somebody like Jackson at the height of his popularity and in that era, yet several of the jurors wanted to. With the same evidence, now, the verdict would probably be different.

      Yes, he can’t defend himself because he is dead, and the victims also can’t get resolution or a trial in today’s climate (as Cosby’s victims did) because he is dead. All that is happening now is a reexamination of history with a modern viewpoint. I’m not sure if you remember or have researched Jackson’s behaviour with kids when you try to dismiss the issue of ‘most artists would have exhibited objectionable behaviour’.

      Even then it was creepy. Now it’s almost unbelievable. If he was a pedophile as he seemed, is it really the main point to you that he wasn’t convicted then, because that is the most reliable indicator in history?

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        No objection with the documentary itself. As I said, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had been found guilty at trial, and it wouldn’t surprise me if definitive proof came out showing he was a pedophile.

        What I object to is it becoming a defacto trial with people assuming that it is definitive proof of guilt, and taking moralistic actions on that basis. Especially when the evidence contradicts what was given at the trial, and there is no opportuntiy to cross-examine the witnesses about why they changed their tune.

        • Jess NZ

          I hear you! I am comfortable with what is happening because I feel strongly the original trial could not escape bias due to Jackson’s stardom. I think everyone knew it was happening but how could you do that to Michael?

          Like it or not (and many don’t), today we put much more weight on the stories of sexual abuse victims even without the independent corroboration that can be impossible to get due to the nature of the crime. People tried to get justice from MJ at the time, with the results you know. The only trial that is available now is a defacto one, with informal and nonbinding results such as radio stations stopping MJ’s music (for now).

          If he’s innocent, that would be unjust. If he’s guilty, that’s a pretty poor compensation for the victims.

    • RedLogix 15.2

      Indeed given there are no perfect people … we should probably ban everything. 🙂

    • Kevin 15.3

      This will be a first, but I agree 100% TS.

  16. Formerly Roas 16

    I have to agree with you TRP. Jackson isn’t the first to have questions raised about his behaviour and won’t be the last. Elvis was 24 and Priscilla 14 when he apparently began dating her. I’m not aware that his music has been banished from the airwaves. And then there is Woody Allen, one of the finest film makers of all time. Are his films somehow poorer because he made them? Some people can’t seem to separate the artist’s private life and from their body of work. It’s sad.

    • Jess NZ 16.1

      Some might say it is sad if you can compartmentalise an artist’s criminal abuse and continue to support and praise the artist. Even Woody Allen is finally seeing some consequences….

      Dylan Farrow’s story…

      “I have long maintained that when I was 7 years old, Woody Allen led me into an attic, away from the babysitters who had been instructed never to leave me alone with him. He then sexually assaulted me. I told the truth to the authorities then, and I have been telling it, unaltered, for more than 20 years. Why is it that Harvey Weinstein and other accused celebrities have been cast out by Hollywood, while Allen recently secured a multimillion-dollar distribution deal with Amazon, greenlit by former Amazon Studios executive Roy Price before he was suspended over sexual misconduct allegations?”

      • Formerly Ross 16.1.1


        You talk of allegations as if they are fact. You have no way of knowing. If you don’t like Allen’s films, I feel sorry for you. Annie Hall and Hannah and her Sisters are both terrific films. About women, for women.

        You quote Dylan Farrow but not Woody Allen. Denials are rather boring I guess.

          • Jess NZ

            Sorry, but how does that link materially affect the discussion? Woody Allen was denied custody of Dylan Farrow evidentially due to the abuse, as shown in the cases at the time.

            He escaped charge primarily to protect the child, not because he was innocent. This is a matter of record, so whether another industry player steps up to protect his mate is hardly relevant.

        • Jess NZ

          Thanks for being patronising enough to feel sorry for me! Michael Jackson sang about women, too. Whether I like the art isn’t the issue under discussion – that’s for those supporting the status quo to defend.

          As for talking of allegations as if they are fact, I refer you to Dylan’s:

          ‘In the final legal disposition of the matter, a judge denied him custody of me, writing that “measures must be taken to protect” me and that there was “no credible evidence” that my mother, Mia Farrow, coached me in any way. A prosecutor took the unusual step of announcing that he had probable cause to charge Allen but declined in order to spare me, a “child victim,” from an exhausting trial.’

          Sounds like more than just allegations, no? If she hadn’t been ‘spared’ from an exhausting trial, would she have instead received justice?

          The link you posted repeats the misstatements that Dylan lists in her story (timing of custody battle). And denials are certainly easier…

          Here’s another rundown….

          ‘The Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sex Abuse Clinic’s finding that Dylan had not been sexually molested, cited repeatedly by Allen’s attorneys, was not accepted as reliable by Judge Wilk, or by the Connecticut state prosecutor who originally commissioned them.’

          • Formerly Ross

            I wasn’t patronising. Why ignore great films about strong women because you have a prejudice against the director? If Hitler had painted the Sistine Chapel you’d probably complain about his use of colour!

            • Jess NZ

              You can’t even hear yourself, can you?

              Prejudice is ‘preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience’ – I have a reason to dislike Woody Allen that has a lot of evidence behind it.

              If you want to be more aware, there’s heaps around about why Woody Allen’s work and life is sexist.


              • Formerly Ross

                You’re entitled to dislike Allen but his films are another matter. Indeed you may not have seen any of them. It’s a bit like hating a book that you haven’t read. I think it’s called ignorance.

                • McFlock

                  You’re entitled to dislike Allen but his films are another matter.

                  We’re not entitled to dislike his films?

                • Jess NZ

                  You really can’t help yourself – nobody needs your permission to dislike Allen or his films and the fact you even write that down is so telling.

                  • Sam

                    What ever you may think of a funeral or a documentary, it is not a free licence to act as judge jury and executioner.

                    • McFlock

                      hate to break it to you, but MJ is dead, mate. No executions happening here, just people choosing their own playlists.

                    • Sam

                      You’d love to break it to me, don’t deny it. Anyway thanks for the concession, cobber.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not really sure that “concession” means what you think it means.

                    • Sam

                      Well I believe that victims have the right to cry wolf three times. I do not believe that gives victims authority to run criminal investigations. What do you believe?

                    • McFlock

                      I believe that anyone can investigate anything within their jurisdiction’s legal constraints (e.g. rights of media, constraints on private investigators, etc).

                      I believe that people can boycott and protest things based on what they believe. And that the level of belief upon which they do these things is entirely up to them.

                      I believe that corporations can decide to not buy services or products from something that might lose them money, within various socialist constraints. E.g. not invest in arms dealers, etc.

                      I believe that phrases like “criminal investigation”, “judge, jury and executioner”, and so on are irrelevant to whether a commercial decision is made, and are basically irrational hyperbole that distract from the fact that if there wasn’t money in it, media companies wouldn’t have taken Jackson off their playlist. They think playing him will lose them listeners and advertising revenue. There is no prohibition or ban other than their individual commercial decisions.

                      If playing his music constantly and saying “look, any protestors are fuckwits” would make them more money, he’d be on every damned station around.

                    • Sam

                      Media have already lost $600 million ad revenue to Facebook. Facebook are now discriminating against advertisers by telling them not to discriminate on who they target for job roles i.e. telling them how to spend their ad money and to spend more by not filtering. Therefore discriminating against those who want to target money, save ad money. It’s unreal. Just check face books Non-Discremination Policy. Don’t know when it went up, I scroll through from time to time looking for any changes and what the implications may be. So the market is chasing Facebook and the normies lagging behind don’t really know what’s really going on.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s still merely a commercial decision, however.

                    • Sam

                      Same face, different mask. Did it make you think for yourself? Commercial radio is hardly the first to promote me too and social justice. Banning Micheal Jackson is no reason to start.

                    • McFlock

                      You can still listen to his music. It’s just that some radio stations think that they’ll make more money catering to other listeners than to you.

                    • Blazer

                      spare a thought for…Bubbles ,his pet Chimpanzee.

  17. Stuart Munro. 17

    For my own part I’m glad for the most part not to have to make such decisions. I did find myself avoiding later Marion Zimmer Bradley or Arthur C Clarke however.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Yes …. I’ve no problem with people making their own choices around this sort of thing. It’s the institutional bans and deplatforming I find troublesome. The question we should always ask is, who makes the decisions and where do the lines get drawn? It’s a slippery slope argument but one that many societies have slid down before much to their cost.

      And I accept that different people will react differently. It probably relates to how strongly each individual can ‘compartmentalise’ in their thinking and emotional response. It’s an interesting trait that like all others has both it’s positive and negative aspects when taken to extremes.

      If you want an alternative to Clarke can I recommend Vernor Vinge?

      Vinge also wrote in the classic hard sf genre (as opposed to the fantasy mush which I can only tolerate when I need some trashy escapism), and as a real computer scientist his ideas convey both authenticity and a creative leap I find particularly compelling.

      • Stuart Munro. 17.1.1

        Sadly I think I’ve run out of Vinges – a Fire on the Deep was particularly good I thought, and his ex’s The Snow Queen series was superior too.

        I read a lot of both scifi and fantasy – there are a few standouts. Peter Hamilton and Paolo Bacigalupi seem to be pretty good. Abercrombie and Stavely are worth a look on the fantasy side if you prefer serious, but apparently lighter stuff like Pratchett or Eames can end up going in interesting directions.

        • RedLogix

          Yes .. A Fire Upon the Deep remains my absolute all-time favourite that I can go back a re-read with pleasure. The first one’s I read were The Peace War series and I’ve a big soft spot for them as well. The whole ‘computational bobble’ is such a truly inspired idea; part of me clings to the hope that one day something like this may be real.

          Also we’ve done then Pratchett/Baxter The Long Earth series as well (I’m blessed with a partner who loves sf as much as I do), and they do make for a pleasant journey indeed.

          But your other names I’m innocent of … I’ll track them down thank you. Cheers

          • ropata

            Stephen Baxter’s other SciFi (transcendent, resplendent, exultant, and the Xeelee series) is superior to that boring collab with Pratchett

            Iain M Banks’ Culture stuff is an absolute must read for any sci fi fan

            Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard K. Morgan is damn good too

            Handy thread:

            • Stuart Munro.

              Yes, Banks is wonderful.

              “… in Special Circumstances we deal in the moral equivalent of black holes, where the normal laws—break down;”

              • RedLogix

                Yes …. that’s an important point. Most of us think we are ‘good people’ mainly because we’ve never been in the circumstance where we might be bad and get away with it.

  18. Labour are now as compromised to our Chinese Overlords as ……/labour-are-now-as-compromised-to-our-chinese-overlord…

    You are worrying about some dead pop star and allegations against him that caused some radio stations to not play his music?

    • Sam 18.1

      It’s still interesting to tease out certain motivations. Inversion narratives don’t always come along like this y’know.

    • Stuart Munro. 18.2

      It seems the decision has been reversed, which speaks well of the coalition. The Kleptocracy was unable to admit it made mistakes, much less correct them.

  19. Puckish Rogue 19

    I feel you have to separate the artist from the art.

    Kevin Spacey is still a great actor:

    Richard Wagner is still a great composer:

    Bill Cosby is still a great comedian: https: //

    Jerry Lee Lewis is still great performer:

    Michael Jackson is still a great performer:

    Charlie Chaplin is still a great performer:

    We can appreciate the art they created as long as we don’t condone their actions or allow them to go unpunished…even though they mostly do

    • Sam 19.1

      Bill Cosby may be a great comedian but Eddie Murphy is just, better.

      • Puckish Rogue 19.1.1

        Sure but thats not really the point is it

        • Sam

          >What’s the point in saying something valid to counter your argument

          • solkta

            You would look less stupid.

            • Sam

              You have misunderstood your own argument.

              • solkta

                My argument is that you look really stupid in this thread just saying stuff but not actually addressing anything. The point in you “saying something valid” would be to look less stupid.

                • Sam

                  I take concessions. You seem not to understand your own argument.

                  • solkta

                    I take concessions.

                    I don’t know what you mean by this. It doesn’t make sense. You can’t “take” a concession but only grant or give one.

                    • Sam

                      Concede everything before and after and I quote “No point in discussing any further since you can’t even follow what you are saying let alone what i am saying.” Concede and we can keep discussing.

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury

              Sam’s intellectual range is too limited to not appear stupid.

              • Sam

                That was funnier than a [Deleted].

                [I’ve no idea what you thought that comment bought to the conversation, Sam. Don’t do it again. TRP]

                • Sam

                  You can change what I said but telling me what to say or think doesn’t work the way you think it does.

                  • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                    try limiting the number of thoughts you have to manage to less than one. Coherence can only be achieved through inner piece

                    • Sam

                      Insulting and delusional. Your yet to prove it since the last time. Now prove it.

                    • solkta

                      What is a “yet”?

                    • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                      Prove what? I’m not at your beck and call.

                      Get back in your lane

                    • Sam

                      Don’t be a sore loser

                    • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                      @sam A sore loser about what?

                      Anyway, what kind of basement dweller are you to keep a tally of their self ascribed internet points and then gets all cocky and big headed about it?

                    • Sam

                      You keep making fascile and petulant claims with out proving anything by acting all confused and asking multiple more questions. It’s a basless argument.

      • Formerly Ross 19.1.2

        Sam, you shouldn’t mention Eddie Murphy unless you want to draw attention to the allegation of sexual harassment that was made against him.

    • What was the issue with Chaplin? I don’t recall him ever being accused of anything other than being a communist sympathiser.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 19.2.1

        Which is enough to be put in the same boat as the others TRP, you know that

    • Phil 19.3

      I feel you have to separate the artist from the art….

      We can appreciate the art they created as long as we don’t condone their actions or allow them to go unpunished…even though they mostly do

      This is, to put it mildly, a fucking bullshit attitude to take.

      For all the ‘great’ performers you’ve listed (add to that the likes of Weinstein, too) we have no idea of the countless brilliant performances and breathtaking art that the world has missed out on.

      These abusers have driven talented people out of their industries with their behavior, or irreparably damaged the lives of their victims who will never get another chance to fulfill their potential.

      Fuck abusive bastards straight to hell.

      • ropata 19.3.1

        Exactly. Every time MJ’s music plays it’s abusing his victims further.

        “I feel you have to separate the artist from the art….”

        What rubbish. Echoes what Muldoon and rugby boofheads were saying when the Springboks came here in 1981 and NZ tore itself apart.

        “You’ve got to separate sport from politics”

      • RedLogix 19.3.2

        Fuck abusive bastards straight to hell.

        Another way to look at it is like this; it’s up to our legal institutions to deal with people who transgress our laws, and it’s up to me as an individual to be compassionate. By making this distinction I don’t have to get entangled with judging and hating; but I can also demand our justice system operate fairly, even-evenhandedly and with cool dispassion.

        Also John 8:7

        • Formerly Ross

          I think it’s called hating the sin and loving the sinner. Of course in this case we don’t know if Jackson broke any laws. But clearly there are those who are quick to demonise the guy on the basis of unproven allegations.

          • RedLogix

            Oh I suspect there is enough reason to think Michael Jackson’s life was so extreme and different to anything you or I could imagine, that we should not be too surprised he fell prey to the idea that the ordinary rules of life did not apply to him.

            Above all else there was a Peter Pan quality to him, a deep-seated denial of adulthood, that strongly suggests an abdication of responsibility, a refusal to accept the burden of maturity. Maybe this was the seat of both his genius and folly wrapped in one.

            I’m no great fan of his music, but you cannot deny his artistic influence. Pretty much most pop artists since have been trying in vain to emulate him.

  20. Augustus 20

    We might need to ban the Beatles too. Didn’t Ringo Starr publish a song called ‘You’re sixteen’? Sixteen is not a child (almost), but it makes me cringe listening to a dude his age (then) fawning over an adolescent.

    • There’s been a ton of ‘age of consent’ songs, Augustus.

      Sonny Boy Williamson’s Good Morning Little Schoolgirl springs to mind as well. And there’s Gary Puckett’s Young Girl, the Grateful Dead’s Mexicali Blues and any song named Jailbait.

      Speaking of the latter, there’s this horror from Trump supporter Ted Nugent:

    • mary_a 20.2

      @ Augustus (20) … perhaps some male music artists compose/sing their music from the perspective of a younger guy, seeing a sixteen year old girl as some male teenagers would.

      • KJT 20.2.1

        Correct, I reckon.

        As it is teenagers who start buying their music, most pop seems to be aimed at a teenage world.

  21. Cinny 21

    Very informative post TRP, kudos.

    Found out a few things I didn’t know about some musicians whose music I love (dang), cheers for the links in your post.

    With that in mind, the radio’s stance on MJ appears targeted as.

  22. How far do we take compartmentalizing things- including art from the artist?

    How far do we normalize and exceptionalize?

    How long do we put a fiery protective hedge around someone just because shes lesbian, hes black , that bunch over there are useful political minority’s – or because someone has a beard and wears eastern style clothes it reminds us of long hazy summer days and a delightfully misspent youth?

    If they are criminals then they are criminals. Except in this case we are speaking prematurely as nothing has been proven, … so far.

    “Get On Home” sung by members of the Manson Family – YouTube

  23. Jess NZ 23

    ‘Separating the art from the artist’ to me reeks of the same distancing used in ‘why should I care today about wrongs my ancestors did to your ancestors?’

    I.e. the artist might have done bad things to other people, but I still want to enjoy the art without guilt, so separate separate separate…

    I’m surprised it’s so popular on this forum.

    • marty mars 23.1

      It’s a manifestation of priviledge imo. Also a derirative of a subset-western mindset of ‘no one fucks with my rights to do what I want’.

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        It’s a bit of a rude awakening when one has to consider boycotting something one actually likes.

        I had that with Louis CK – I really fucking liked his comedy. As an average, middle-aged, privileged but unspectacular guy, he spoke directly to my angst with his observational comedy. But then it turned out there wasn’t as much exaggeration as one might think. Fortunately, now he’s a dick who seems to have lost his observational talent, so my virtue is now safe without me being inconvenienced in any way 🙂

        • WILD KATIPO

          Yeah well ta -ta’s… same as Rolf Harris, dontcha think?

          Everyone’s favorite childhood funny guy.

          Singing about his ‘third leg’ FFS!

          As times change , so does whats acceptable as humour. Moreso when and if its proven they were scumbags in disguise.

          jake the peg – YouTube

          • McFlock

            Nah the third leg isn’t so bad. And the LCK jokes from back in the day were still funny (if they had been jokes, not memories).

            And Cosby’s stuff would still be funny today, if it were created by someone without his track record.

            Social mores changing what we find funny (like black and white minstrels or Mickey Rooney’s travesty in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) is a different issue to discovering that a particular work was created by someone who was e.g. raping or murdering folks at the time they were creating something of beauty.

            • RedLogix

              Given this New Puritanism sweeping the West … we may have to ban the 60’s and 70’s altogether. 🙂

              • McFlock

                Very few things should be banned, if anything.

                But if radio stations want to keep customers, some things stay on the shelf. “The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan”, for example, will probably never be played in its entirety on TV or radio. We won’t hear Katy Perry on a classical music station for another hundred years.

                Let some things sit on the shelf until the wounds are not so fresh.

                Apparently some people have burned Rolf Harris paintings. I’m conflicted over that. Let them sit in storage for a while, though.

                • RedLogix

                  Banning and expunging is exactly what ISIS have done, desecrating and demolishing anything they deemed ‘un-Islamic’. Humanity has yet to make a full accounting of what we’ve lost because of them.

                  Then there was the sacking and burning of Constantinople, where we lost a major fraction of the works of art and literature in existence.

                  And then what should we do when confronted with Greek works of art featuring and celebrating their very normal practice of pederasty? As you say, time has passed. Yet it’s not hard to imagine someone even today calling for their destruction.

                  Part of what makes art work is it’s ability to confront us, often uncomfortably. Art is meant to lie just a little outside of normal, otherwise it’s just sanitised and boring. If the follies and failings of the artist is part of that narrative, it is our choice to face it or not.

                  • McFlock

                    I am put to mind of a museum curator in the 19thC who apparently knocked all the willies of the classical statues. A hundred and fifty years later people glued them back on.

                    But again, very few things should be banned. But banning is different to not playing them because you’ll lose customers.

                    • marty mars

                      Yes I haven’t heard of a ban. People can still hear the songs and buy his music. All his fans who don’t care about this will keep on keeping on. But somewhere an abused person will lose some hope that they will be believed.

                    • greywarshark

                      Somewhere, someone will be hurt so we can’t do some action because of that? It is a possibility – so hold back because someone may have a bad memory. Better stop thinking, stop talking.

                      Life is full of bad memories. They either relate to something that happened personally, happened to a friend or family, or you hear about it on the daily news.

                      Don McLean on Prime Time talks about how we try to cope with all the things that are happening, everything jumbled. Things not so different today, this was in 1977.

                    • McFlock

                      It has nothing to do with “bad memories”.

                      It has everything to do with whether people will change to another station if “Billie Jean” comes on the radio.

                    • Sam

                      Apart of the conceit of the mythos of Michael Jackson is because his fan base can be oblivious to Michael Jacksons whole history which is unbelievable even if you can some how segregate the pedophilia it is still an unbelievable life and that’s the point of a myth. A myth is to get you to realise things and not to convince a durry of criminal evidence. But that’s the thing about this type of confusion because once it dissipates you can’t return to it, and of course when you try and return to it you will meet a corpse because Michael Jackson is dead. Michael Jackson is not a creepy old man any more because he’s not alive.

                      In the whole way, a victim of sexual abuse can resonate distress, the body of a corpse can resonate peace but of course the victims can not find the peace they want because they can not get back to the Never Land that they want. When we describe some one in disillusionment then we describe them in a state of despair, they are sad and experience loss because it is a negative state. But notice at the heart of being disillusioned is the loss OF illusion. We are losing the fog of confusion cast over by being groomed and Michael Jackson fans will lose that sense of belonging that they had because no one belongs in Never Land any more.

                      Of course we should make moral reflections and arguments but the myth of Michael Jackson is saying something lies deeper that carries out responsibilities as a mega hyper star, it is important stuff. But it can ultimately be rendered meaningless if you’ve lost meaning and morality in life and I would argue that it is different and deeper than simply living a purely moral existence.

      • Jess NZ 23.1.2

        And such an interesting set of blinkers for otherwise compassionate folks!

        When the product is a sports shoe or computer, when vulnerable women and children are abused in the process, compassionate people everywhere will protest and boycott.

        But when the product is a song or film, the emotional link to the art or artist makes fans resist the rightful condemnation due to the victims of the process. Fans feel like they have some real personal connection to the artist and art, so would lose out by admitting the wrongs done.

        • marty mars

          Yes – mostly hidden but can show its face every now and then. Everything is cool until it hits my personal then it becomes all about MY rights. Until then it is just a thing over there. What is compassion? Not sure apart from it is not comfortable, you put energy into it.

          For me the weird thing is the subjectiveness of the value judgment – he’s good, he’s bad – a bit like arguing about his haircut.

  24. McFlock 24

    Separating the artist from the art is a bloody stupid practise, anyway.

    Sometimes we’ll never get the context of the artist, but the fact is that understanding the artist and their context at the time of their creation improves artistic appreciation. Look at van Gogh – millions of people are drawn to his work by the paintings alone. Others have heard about his death, or something about an ear, and that lends an aspect of passion that makes the strokes more intense. Others know of his time in the asylum, and how he created most at those times, so it becomes an expression of insanity or a battle through it. And then others know more of the context of his studies and whose shoulders he stood on and what he and his crowd were trying to do, and that leads to more understanding.

    When we observe a creative work, we have our pre-existing knowledge of other works, and our pre-existing knowledge of the creator ant their work. Sure, all pieces can stand alone, but that’s the most meaningless aspect of it.

    The more we know about how a work was created, in what milieu, the more we appreciate two creations: the one before us now, and the one the artist strove to create. Picasso might have said that everything he created was perfection, but most others would have a bit more class and admitted that they reckon the next one will be a bit better. We don’t look at art just to see the statue, we look at it to see what the artist was trying to reveal.

    I’ve seen pictures of Michelangelo’s unfinished marble sculptures, perfectly formed hands and figures half sunk into rough marble blocks. Pretty cool by themselves, but also pretty cool to imagine what works lie beneath the rough-hewn surface, but he didn’t have time to release them from their prison.

    • RedLogix 24.1

      Separating the artist from the art is a bloody stupid practise, anyway.

      On the other hand the entire point of truly great art is that it transcends the limitations of the person who created it.

      Indeed it’s obvious that the most creative among us also tend to be the most eccentric individuals, often at odds with the conventionality around them. Their lives are often difficult, risky and easy to judge; yet from within them something unique and valuable emerges.

      • McFlock 24.1.1

        Sure it transcends the limitations, but the context in which they were created still adds to the appreciation.

  25. mary_a 25

    I remember a song from the early 1960s, Go Away Little Girl, about an adult male being tempted by an underage teenage girl. As far as I remember, at that time it was fairly popular and being in that same age bracket (15/16), I certainly did not put any sexual connotations on the song and neither did my friends, nor our parents, who if they did, didn’t mention it, which I’m sure they would have done. I don’t think it was ever banned from public airplay either.

    Then there is the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, namely Aspects of Love, where an adult male Alex is finding it difficult fighting off being tempted by Jenny an underage girl “… you don’t want a lover in a jail cell …” as Alex sings to her. Another point is much earlier in the musical, Alex as a teenager is seduced by Rose, eventually to become Jenny’s mother! In fact in my opinion for all it’s worth, the storyline is bordering on incest! Plenty there to make a song and dance about and point the finger, but most people, myself included take it for what it is, a musical based on a novel and enjoy it.

  26. Yeah and here’s another one from an acclaimed movie [ art ] Apocalypse Now.

    All about the great anglo american western imperialist alliance complete with its rousing WHITE mans music from that beloved Jew baiter and composer , Richard Wagner beating up on on those far eastern Asiatic types… if you wait a few seconds more you’ll even see John Wayne flying into view complete with half chewed cigar in his mouth framing his square lantern jaw and brandishing his M16 in obvious eagerness to get into the fray…

    Enjoy the artistic flair the producer had…

    Apocalypse Now- Ride of the Valkyries – YouTube

  27. SPC 27

    The radio stations are just managing a temporary PR problem with one of their artists sometimes on their playlist.

    The dumb thing was mentioning that they had done so – no one would have even noticed otherwise.

    Most people who tune into a radio stations to listen to music do so via specialist music stations around the world. The rest Spotify, I Heart playlists, You Tube etc.

  28. peterlepaysan 28

    Radio stations do what they do in search of ratings. It’s nothing to do with moral rectitude. It has nothing to do with the worth of the listening experience.

    Musicians, like all other artists are buskers. I am being polite.

  29. Delia 29

    Like separating racist rugby tours from politics? I mean come on. People can still listen to Michael Jackson, radio stations can do what they like.

  30. Muttonbird 30

    The Michael Jackson Simpsons episode is removed from all platforms, yet still James backs the great entertainer over his child victims!

    When will James stand up for the victims or does he continue to deny there are any?

    Remember that according to James if you don’t make a stand then you are complicit.

  31. Sam 31

    Ok so Micheal Jacksons niece, Brandy Jackson in an interview is claiming the timeline in the documentary is false. She was gaining out with one of the accusers in the documentary during the time he claims to have been a victim and that Micheal Jackson had set them up. She’s been thrashing this propaganda film. Interviews here

    I’m going to just call out that I’m going to put all of Micheal Jacksons tracks on blast till Sunday you bitch ass niggers.

    • McFlock 31.1

      It’s nice that you need to believe in his innocence to do so.

      Timelines or whatever, I just can’t figure out how a boy would know specific odd details of a grown man’s penis.

      • Sam 31.1.1

        It’s Saturday, and you proper help that I am sorry to say I am neither qualified nor coherent enough to give. Good luck.

      • Sam 31.1.2

        Well, I was wrong. Michael Jackson is a pedophile. Didn’t watch Leaving Never Land on HBO but there’s a one hour interview with the director and the two victims, and Oprah Winfrey. The entire audience are sexual abuse survivors and as the interview is going down and the details are rehashed there’s people in the audience just nodding there heads and audience members coming up to speak and there all like speaking the same language almost and as a fan boy I was trying to be more mature and passionate and as I pursued this miss frame I became even more frustrated as opposed to becoming more mature.

        As Oprah said no other star shown brighter than Michaels and she began diving into the mythological biography and reflecting on the victims early life in Never Land and looked at Never Lands mythos as apart of the grooming process and other ways of grooming and manipulating and how to control the victims and there parents and even the community and the total confusion of being locked in a love affair with Michael Jackson and trying to satisfy the confusion by being close to Michael and having lots of sex with him. It’s all in Oprah’s interview. For every one who doesn’t believe the victims, Oprah’s interview is a must watch. My friend actually dragged me into the room and made me watch it and I’m glad she did and I’m sure others will be glad to have watched it too.

    • Jess NZ 31.2

      1) I’d be shocked if his family and friends didn’t come out to defend his reputation. It should be possible, if appropriate, for MJ’s estate to sue the doc makers for libel.

      2) Back in the day, Michael’s own marriage to Lisa Marie Presley was said to be a cover as Michael really didn’t seem like, shall we say, the type to need a wife. Wifey didn’t exactly come from a traditional family setting herself 🙂 So the claim that MJ set up James and Brandy to date could be 100% true and still be meaningless as to MJ’s innocence.

      • Formerly Ross 31.2.1

        It should be possible, if appropriate, for MJ’s estate to sue the doc makers for libel.

        Why should it be possible? Of course, if the doco makers had made their doco while Jackson was still alive, he most definitely could have sued them for defamation. I am curious why they didn’t do so.

  32. I’m content, as is the leftist way, to pay due respect to the accuser’s allegation, whatever the situation.

    I couldn’t care less about radio bans, but if people still want to listen to a paedo child molester’s records, they still have their ipods and itunes.


  33. greywarshark 33

    Radio stations around the world are doing this. Joined up mindlessness. Oh that the sins of radio jocks are forgiven and forgotten! Hypocrites. While the media keeps calling the shots as to who has erred and weakened, their own omissions are screened. They can pick you up, steal your life, publish all the things they can find about you and imagine and embellish some; then they can plunge you downwards exposing you to a relentless barrage of expose’s and sensationalism.

    Voracious media are complicit in some people’s mental problems and addictions.

  34. Formerly Ross 34

    I’ve always enjoyed listening to Ben from Jackson. Youtube it is. It’s a funny world when a 14 year old singing a song is politically incorrect.

  35. Formerly Ross 35

    These accusations weren’t new. On two other occasions, Jackson was hit with lawsuits alleging abuse. But in 2005, Jackson was acquitted of criminal molestation charges, which did not involve Robson or Safechuck. Robson testified at the trial, saying he had slept in Jackson’s room many times and nothing happened. Safechuck gave a similar statement to investigators when he was young.

    It’s odd that many people say believe the chidren, but in this case they don’t want to beleve the children because the accusers – when they were children – denied being abused.

    Both Robson and Safechuck later filed lawsuits, claiming large sums of money from Jackson’s estate. The lawsuits were dismissed.

  36. infused 36

    If you watched it, you wouldn’t be defending him.

    • Muttonbird 36.1

      The commenter known as James defends Michael Jackson and denies there are victims.

      It makes a mockery of his faux outrage at some comments on this forum. The two positions are contradictory. But then James is both muddled and hypocritical, in spades.

  37. SPC 37

    Something unpublished on another blogsite .. placed here.

    If one looks at the long list of right wing and “non woke” males employed by these two private media groups, the argument made here looks faintly silly.

    “NZME & NZ Radio are run by … micro aggression policing millennial culture groupthink … .”

    Really, you find the instance you cite as sufficient proof to assert that.

    The radio networks are just managing a PR problem of one of the artists they rotate on playlist – during an news cycle.

    “thought crime censorship” …

    how is not playing some music making anyones thoughts a crime, or censoring the thoughts of anyone? .

    “In the post #MeToo cultural landscape” …

    we are not in a post me too landscape – it’s still a thing. Women are not going to be shouted down that quickly.

    “where accusation is the new evidential threshold”

    In fact women being silenced until they can prove something is the very essence of censorship to protect the powerful. It’s a bit like the name suppression that only the powerful get.

    “outrage olympics the virtue signalling of choice … book burning presentism is the new cultural revolution … Woke social media lynch mobs are the custodians of the neo-Salem witch trials.”

    Frankly this is hysterical and demonstrably irrational. You sound like someone pretending to be the victim of others seeking justice – a bit like National in their oppositon to a CGT.

    I suppose all those facing their privilege being challenged tend to react in similar ways.

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  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    6 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    6 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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