Open mike 24/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 24th, 2023 - 74 comments
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74 comments on “Open mike 24/12/2023 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Nick Rockel, much admired her on The Standard, writes today,

    "At the end of the month the culture wars came calling in the form of Posie Parker who travelled here for a tomato juice.

    The two newsletters I wrote about that were probably the most contentious I’ve written. The topic is a minefield, and while I tried my best to navigate it there was no way to keep everyone happy. Some of the vitriolic comments I received, on both sides, including from people I know well, were pretty unhinged."

    Interesting to read of his experience, one that perhaps matches that here 🙂

    • weka 1.1

      it does seem to be a common theme. Many of us start out trying to keep everyone happy, but it's just not possible. My best hope is a rapprochement between the lefties on each side finding some common ground and taking care to listen and engage.

      I'm not sure I would characterise aspects of the TS debate as vitriolic or unhinged, although I agree both sides get pretty heated at times.

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        Many a discussion here on TS can be characterised as a tug of war with two teams/camps pulling away at and from each other. Ideally, deliberation should be more like two crews of the same team boring an underground tunnel starting at opposite ends and meeting somewhere in the middle.

    • Anker 1.2

      Was it really vitriolic and unhinged on TS Robert? I don't remember it that way.

      Nick says that Peters, Foster and Jones are simply scoring points with bigots. Oh dear that must mean that 60% of NZ ders are bigots. That's the number of people who don't support trans identifying males playing in women's sports. Only a small number of people actively support TIMs in women's support. To do so, means being a science denier as the science is clear, males have a clear and significant advantage over female sportswomen. And that also means in some sports they are a risk to women physically. I have posted Dr Ross Tuckers the science of transgender in sports a number of times,happy to do it again if requested.

      Meanwhile, this is a lovely article from a women's point of view (to the best of my knowledge the msm never interviewed a women about the new policy, they only interviewed trans identifying male Kate Weatherly aka Anton Weatherly, a cyclist from the Kapiti Coast who is aceing the competition (women) in cycling events.

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        "Was it really vitriolic and unhinged on TS Robert? I don't remember it that way."

        Didn't say it was, although it was a bit fevered, imo 🙂

        • weka

          Might be a communication style thing. I also thought you were implying that TS was similar to Rockel's experience of the debate, thus,

          Some of the vitriolic comments I received, on both sides, including from people I know well, were pretty unhinged

          • Robert Guyton

            You're right, it is. Assuming good intent is the way to manage the issue of language's multi-facets, imo. I always assume your comments are intended to be constructive, for example 🙂

            In this instance, I did say, "similar" 🙂

    • Francesca 1.3

      Yeah, he's great , I love him

      But then again, I don't require him to mirror every single one of my positions on modern matters

  2. Molly 2

    Oh, Robert. Once again the familiar stunning bravery of standing behind someone else's unsubstantiated falsehoods and uninformed reckons.

    I could only make it halfway through the first referenced newsletter because my tolerance for poor quality writing is about Nil this time of the year.

    However, I do recommend reading on for those whose current perspectives are being challenged by due consideration and logic. There are the predictable catechisms that can be learnt to repeat whenever you find yourself in a logical hole of your own making.

    After all, it would be appalling if now the public discussion is happening, it is discovered that people – especially those pesky women – speaking of their concerns may actually have some salient points.

    They should remember their only duty is to "Be Kind".

    And in regards to sports, well the answer is also clear:

    "Train Harder"

    • Molly 2.1

      Problems posting from Android. Cannot remove via non-presentung edit options.

      Apologies to all for duplicate.

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Hi Molly – you've jumped to a Wrong Conclusion. I haven't posted Nick's post to represent my thoughts, but instead to show how similar the his on-line experience was to that on TS. He's regarded well here, for his thoughts on the present Government especially, and it's interesting, I believe, to see how he expressed himself on that topic. I wondered what his view is now?

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        Have I?

        Oh, yes, I take close notice of advice given by weka.

        On a completely different thread, have you ever wondered the true details of Van Gough and the fate of his ear? Gauguin was closely involved. It's quite a sorry tale.

        • Molly

          I am surprised that I have once again been tricked into reading a reply from you in the hope it is relevant.

          That'll teach me…wink

          Oh, well. Third time's the charm. I'll go off and do something worthwhile now, so you can move your creative writing workshop elsewhere.

          Merry Christmas Robert!

        • Francesca

          On another matter Robert , bamboo?

          Do you grow it down there ?

          .I've become a bit obsessed with it.

          My main bamboo plot was planted 50 years ago, between 2 driveways so its spread is controlled.I have the room anyway.

          I've just constructed an extensive bamboo fence to keep wekas out of my biophiliac tendencies balked at allowing wekas a free reign)

          I use it for garden structures (the fairy bamboo for lattice work) but I would love to build more with it

          A neighbour , who has that huge bamboo, has just constructed a magnificent entry way into his woodland area.

      • Molly 2.2.2

        @incognito yes

        [Molly’s restored comment, originally submitted @ 2023/12/24 at 9:28 am – Incognito]

        This also contributes nothing of your own thoughts, Robert.

        Nor provides any of the missing supporting evidence for his fairly lazy uninformed newsletters.

        Given your reference to his quality, and regard (which perhaps is not universally held) it reads as an appeal to a quasi-authority of your own making. The critique I have of his referenced newsletter remains. It is indeed indicative of the uninformed rhetoric that many participated in here on The Standard.

        “I wondered what his view is now?”

        Why not contact him directly to ask? I hold little hope he has taken ANY time to challenge his own misconceptions.

        After all, have you?

        • weka
          1. Robert shared his thoughts on both the Rockel piece, and on your response to his original comment.

          2. Robert is under no obligation to provide evidence to support someone else's writing, when he was commenting on the author's experience, not the politics. Are you missing the point of the OP?

          3. there are indeed people on TS who value Rockel's writing. I've seen people here talk about it and reference it.

          4. you are free to critique Rockel's newsletter, it just doesn't have much to do with Robert's point, so maybe stop hassling him about it?

  3. Francesca 3


    That sounds just like a federation

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • lprent 3.1

      FFS: The current Russian Federation isn't the only place that had Russian imperial colonies of ethnic Russians implanted. Nor is it the only place that has Russian Federation has military bases.

      Stay off my posts until you can learn to contribute.

      • Francesca 3.1.1

        As this is not your post, assuming we're all on the same page of Open Mike ,I can feel free to reply I assume

        Compared to 750 bases spread around the world a long way from the Us neighbourhood, 11 bases in the near surrounds does not seem excessive or indicative of an ambitious empire

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.2

      6 minutes to reply…so you didn't look at the video. I suppose watching RT is easier (and to be fair, much better produced and edited).

      A federation in the sense that Aboriginal Australians were "federated" by the British "Federation" in the 1800s…

      • lprent 3.2.1

        Francesca seems to never look at anything that might upset their world view. I suspect that there is a religious component in their nature, one that completely relies on uninformed faith rather than knowledge.

        I noticed the fast response as well. That is why her comment got moved to Open Mike.

      • Francesca 3.2.2

        Fucken hell uncooked , give us a chance .She looks like a lovely girl and I will definitely watch further.But Jeez, its the day before Xmas, baking, wrapping, entertaining to do .I already feel I've spent way too much time here , watching beyond part one (33 minutes) is going to have to take a back seat to real life

        I'm off! Have a great Xmas!

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Sorry! I certainly don't mean to say you should watch them quickly, or at all. I'm impressed you watched the first one, because they are quite long and have a lot of detail (and it is 24 December!)

          If/when you do watch some, I'd be very interested to hear your impression, coming from a different view.

          Have a great Christmas!

  4. Incognito 4

    @ Molly, Robert Guyton, and Francesca:

    I accidentally deleted a sub-thread with your comments when trying to delete Molly’s duplicate comment to RG @ 1 (now deleted to avoid duplicate sub-thread forming).

    My sincere apologies.

    I still have access to the text of your deleted comments in the back-end and can help if you wish to re-do them.

    • Molly 4.1

      You can repost all of mine on the 2.0 comment of Robert's – yes.

      I don’t think it makes much of a difference, as the first comment is easily scrolled past.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        To avoid further confusion, you could start off the restoration process by posting a dummy comment as placeholder in reply to RG’s comment @ 2.2 ( Then I’ll copy & paste your original reply into your dummy comment and we’ll go from there.

        Apologies for the inconvenience, but this might be better than me impersonating you and other commenters.

        • Molly

          Done. But unless Robert does the same, I lose my replies to him?

          Shall I just do three in a row?

          • Incognito


            No, the replies have to be to the newly restored comments, in order. So one at the time, I’m afraid – there were not many 🙂

            • Robert Guyton

              I'd let them dematerialise – none were gems, imo, though I did reference weka's value as a commenter on the topic 🙂

              • Incognito

                Ok, I respect your choice, which means that Molly’s other reply also won’t be restored, at least not by me.

              • weka

                I'm still recovering from talk of weka-proof bamboo fences.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Pretty sure Francesca enjoys having weka around, just not "having their way entirely", as we all do 🙂

                • Francesca

                  Oh Weka!

                  I think you're a really good communicator., and a very fair person My peregrinating mind must have been prompted by the word weka, which led to bamboo and my weka proof fence.I'm not clever enough to weave a convoluted story around you and fences.Its all true! I hope your recovery is complete! I'm a fan

                  • weka

                    All recovered now lol.

                    Loved the bamboo convo. One of may favourite things about TS is that we veer off into such things from time to time.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Nobody comments on political blogs on Christmas Eve, do they?

                      In any case, the parade in the village doesn't do it for me any more – too many agricultural machines for my liking, so I stayed home to dress…the chimney! Or rather, the flue in our lounge. It's black, so I wrapped it in white paper, then added, with a black marker, the marks such as silver birch carries on its bark, so now it looks like a birch growing in our living space. At the base, I added paper mache amanita mascaria toadstools I made long ago, along with associated creatures; a toad, a hedgehog and a small Tomten figure, pointed hat, long white beard and all. From the real birch outside, I harvest leaves and catkins and strewed those all about the scene. It looks wonderful, I believe. When my grandchildren arrive tomorrow, they'll love the decorated pine Christmas tree, for sure, but I think they'll also enjoy the chimney 🙂

                    • weka []

                      oh that is delightful.

                      I rather enjoyed this Christmas tradition, from the Isle of Man


            • Molly

              In that case, just copy and paste all my replies in that first box.

              For context you can put in Robert's replies in italics, if Robert stands by his responses and is happy for that to happen.

              Else, just do all mine in that first one.

              Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the team at the Standard.

              • Incognito

                Robert declined, so I’ll leave it at this and move on 🙂

                Wish you and all other commenters Merry Christmas too.

                • Molly

                  I did not decline. So I'd appreciate you posting ALL of mine in the box I provided, as you initially offered after your sincere error.

                  I'm happy to stand by my comments.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Molly's doubling-down 🙂

                    • Molly

                      Holding people to their offer.

                      As you no doubt do, Robert. I put thought into my comments, and would like them reinstated.

                      Alternatively, incognito – you can email me the thread and I can save on my computer.

                    • Incognito []

                      Well, this is awkward; RG declines and you insist (for want to a better word).

                      I won’t do any more restoring and I don’t e-mail individual commenters (another Mod might but I wouldn’t want to impose on any of them, as it was my mistake and ‘tis the time of the year to unwind).

                      For the record, only 2 comments left: one by RG @ 2023/12/24 at 9:42 am and then a reply by you @ 2023/12/24 at 9:51 am.

        • Francesca

          I'm all good

          Just did another comment to Robert

    • Robert Guyton 4.2

      All good. I blame Molly 🙂

        • Anker

          A shame Molly. I regard you as one of the best commentators on the Standard for you ability to argue logically and rationally and challenge those who aren't interested in engaging on the arguments re gender critical issues.

          Oh well quality as usual from Molly rather than quantity.

          Anyway Merry Christmas to all on the Standard

  5. Francesca 5

    Oh bugger

    In the grand scheme of things my comment to Robert was dearer to my heart than anything else.

    Dear Robert, I'm in love with bamboo!

    I planted mine 50 years ago, between 2 driveways so its spread has been as glacial as our commitments to the Paris accords.

    Recently I've constructed a weka proof bamboo fence around my big biophiliac tendencies balk at wekas having their way entirely.)

    I'm growing black, green and fairy bamboo which I use for latticework.

    I make heaps of garden structures but would love to branch out

    Can you grow it down there?

    If so , got any tips for how else I can use it ?Thinking of producing char with split bamboo.I would love to build with it!

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Hi Francesca

      50 years of growing bamboo! Puts my recent efforts to shame 🙂 It sounds as though you planted a running variety; best for carbon draw-down, but not for neighbourly relations 🙂 It sounds though, as though you know what you are doing. I do have a clump of runner, but it's easy to manage and can't overwhelm the already overwhelming forest. My favourite bamboos Himalayacalamus falconerii, a classy, glassy clumper that provides most of the canes I use for constructing structures to support grapes, runner beans, kiwifruit etc. Your weka-proof fence sounds impressive and I understand your wish for such an excluder – there are no weka in my area, but I read of the challenge they pose. Isn't it fortunate that bamboo doesn't grow from cuttings 🙂 Mostly these days, I use bamboo canes to mark young, newly-planted trees, so that I don't lose them to the vigorous seasonal growth of understory herbs – I'm establishing the next iteration of trees; chestnut, oak and other more exotic croppers, throughout the forest garden and don't like losing anything the the green tide. I do have several other varieties of bamboo, but none suit so well as the Himalayan. Do you grow the giant miscanthus (elephant grass)? It's impressive; softer than bamboo and more for biomass production, but a big grass nonetheless. You couldn't construct anything with it, but it looks jungly, in an African sort of way 🙂

  6. Francesca 6

    Yes I do grow miscanthus! I use it as a mulch when I cut it to the ground each spring with a niwashi shark

    My only neighbour is my sister, we share the bamboo, we have 14 acres between us , so no worries about being swamped .It is a running variety, even the clumpers eventually decide to break out and start a new colony I've noticed.I really do consider it a resource.Its kept contained because so many come to harvest it

    Any new shoots are soft and easily removed.

    I certainly wouldn't be planting it in a small section though .

    I'd grow fairy bamboo (really useful)in a pot instead.

    I love the sound of your place, I imagine you have times drifting about and swooning at the lushness

    • Francesca 6.1

      PS I want an exemption to be made for me so that I can live another 40 years and see the trees I continue to plant reach maturity

      It all gives me far more contentment and wonderment than a lot of pointless quarrels .

      Happy Xmas! (if thats your thing)

    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      Oh, yes, I drift alright. When I walk out of my door, despite having already gazed out of the windows into the forest, I feel astonishment and bliss to find myself in such a world; beyond fortunate, I reckon. I get so much satisfaction from having been closely involved in the growing of this forest; my contribution is minor really; selecting and managing mainly – the "growing" bit is done by the forest itself. After 30 years, I'm still planting at a pace that makes me feel as though I'm contributing positively to the future and in any case, I can't stop. Like you, I'd like an exemption, though I'll be satisfied with whatever I receive, years-wise. It is lush here; a recent visitor who has travelled the world opined that it reminded him very much of a Peruvian jungle – I glowed inwardly 🙂 With plants such as banana, brugmansia and canna looking very comfortable out amongst the apples and walnuts, the jungly-look is coming more and more to the fore; I'm not a keen traveller, so am bringing the jungles I would like to see, here. As to quarrels, I quite enjoy them, so long as they are built on supportable claims 🙂 Happy Christmas to you too, Francesca.

      • Patricia Bremner 6.2.1

        Our family loved gardening and arguing the toss lol Up and down until we agreed to disagree or compromise lol

        We were not allowed sarcasm or personal attacks. Compromise is a dirty word to some.

        I actually find Nick's writing is open hearted and without artifice.

        But pleasing all is impossible.

        yesHappy holidays/ Merry Christmas/Greetings of the season… whatever floats your boat.

        • Francesca

          Thats the key alright Patricia , no sarcasm, no personal attacks, makes the difference between a quarrel and a discussion

        • Robert Guyton

          "Our family loved gardening and arguing the toss lol Up and down until we agreed to disagree or compromise lol"

          That's a great formula, Patricia – debating in the manner you describe, all underpinned by gardening! If only we could all live this way 🙂

          (way better than grinding a tunnel through dark and unforgiving rock, Incognito 🙂

  7. Incognito 7

    A shout-out for a surprise find and gem.

    A fashion world lacking in depth often reaches for the nostalgia of past decades. In politics, too, it looks like we’re headed for a return to the past.

    • weka 7.1

      I'm not reading very much atm apart from fiction, but that was excellent.

    • Francesca 7.2

      That was so well expressed , in simple language.

      Really really good

      • Incognito 7.2.1

        I’d think that James Bush would say that it was well executed 😉

        • Robert Guyton

          "we push our young designers to focus on self-expression and personality without giving them the chance to first discover what that might be"

          Better then, to retain designers till they're old and fully cognisant of their personality, having matured one over time, and well-practiced at self-expression in a way that only long experience can provide.

          Go the vintage designers!

    • Patricia Bremner 7.3

      yes 100% and thank you to you authors organisers and gorgeous geeks.

  8. mary_a 8

    Compliments of the season everyone. Take good care and keep safe and welllaugh

  9. aj 9

    Very sad for The (Dixie) Chicks. Stand against Bush in Iraq courageous.

  10. SPC 10

    Manipulation 101

    It feels like we need a good dose of national pride.


    It’s been a challenging year in many ways. The end of a controversial Government has left us almost unrecognisable from our 2017 selves. That Government left us financially bereft and emotionally divided.

    While the vocal minorities will continue to shout their displeasure, the direct, no-nonsense approach to the new 100-day plan, and the immediacy of the Cook Straight ferry decision shows that we have a no-nonsense Government that is serious about the economic and structural repair job that awaits them. The fear of what might have been, has been replaced by an atmosphere of hope for the year ahead

    Oh, so so the right has moved from playing on fears, to promoting hope.

    So where does the pride come in?

    Because the biggest difference in the outlook for New Zealand will come as a result of the attitude that we bring to our challenges and opportunities alike. Across the broadest possible spectrum, we have a history to be proud of and a contribution to make to the world. Left and right. Māori and Pākeha. Local and immigrant. Educated leader and blue-collar worker. We all have a contribution to make. And we should be excited about what we can collectively achieve, and what we can offer a world in need. After all, that’s how the world’s leaders think

    So it's in the contributions we make. World leaders are excited at the contributions that the people can make to the world. And we should be to. Is that measured by GDP, improving the return to capital on foreign and or domestic investment?

    Must be softening us up for Luxon's talk of one and two year plans when the 100 days are up.

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