Bob McCoskrie needs to give fellow basement-dweller Ken Orr some lessons in media release structure. But his latest one is such a perfect example of antichoice bullshit it’s hard to pass up (even if it gets downright offensive at the end).
Right to Life supports legislation that recognises the humanity and personhood of the unborn child as a member of the human family that is endowed with an inalienable right to life and is deserving of respect and protection.
Firstly, dude, employ some fucking commas. Is the unborn babby the thing which is endowed (phwoar) or the “human family”, whatever the fuck that means?
Second, foetus =/= person.* And even if it were, no person has the right to occupy another’s body and live off their organs.** No actual “right to life” codified in any law I know of actually permits enslaving other people via biological hookup.
Right to Life believes that the majority of New Zealanders support protecting the right to life of unborn children.
I believe in fairies.
The killing of unborn children the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family in the womb, is a violation of the human rights of unborn children.
That would be those rights we’ve established no human, born or
undead unborn, have, right? But let’s never let the facts get in the way of trying to play people’s emotions with a string of irrelevant adjectives – after all, if you have to remind people that ickle babby feeetusses are Vulnerable and Weak and Helpless, you may have just acknowledged you’re on the losing side of this battle.
It is also a violation of the human rights of women who deserve respect and protection for their child in the womb.
Let’s take this to its logical conclusion, folks: women deserve respect so much that we have to take away their ability to choose to undergo a medical procedure. And
Right to Life Ken Orr and his boner respect women so much they think stubby-limbed fish-beings pweshus babbies take precedence over those women’s lives and desires and bodies.
The” right to choose” is a cruel lie,there is no human right that permits us to choose to kill another human being.
Except … that pregnancy can and does kill women. Pregnancy is in fact nine times more likely to kill a woman in New Zealand than an abortion. But because Ken respects
incubators women so much he thinks they should die in order that stubby fish-beings might live.
So … Ken thinks “unborn children” do have a right to life which necessitates killing living, breathing, thinking human people. I mean, ambulatory uteri.
You might think that’s a bit extreme, surely the antichoice movement understands that sometimes pregnancy can be really dangerous to women’s health, even fatal. Surely they’re reasonable enough to allow that some abortions are necessary to save women’s lives.
Oops, no. Mind you, that was a Catholic case, they’re a totes minor voice in the antichoice movement.
ALRANZ, the spokesman for a culture of death, with a national membership of less than 200, does not represent the views of women and ordinary New Zealanders, its proposal to decriminalise abortion is a threat to the wellbeing of women.
- ALRANZ is a person (specifically, a man)*** with a really cool single name, like Cher or Prince
- Ken Orr can’t convince anyone to come down to his basement to proofread his press releases
- “Women” and “ordinary New Zealanders” are distinct, separate groups in Right to Life’s world.
ALRANZ knows that before we can decriminalise abortion we must first deny the humanity of unborn children.
Wait for it …
The decriminalising of abortion would be a denial of the humanity and personhood of the unborn child.
Wait for it ….
The denial of the humanity of Negroes gave us slavery.
That’s just the appetizer …
The denial of the humanity of Jews gave us the Holocaust.
BOOM! Godwinned it!
Yep, the all-time classic Abortion Is Just Like The Holocaust argument. Which for a start ignores some pretty complex political and social considerations around the situation in 1930s Germany/Western Europe (hint: Hitler was not the only person who wasn’t too keen on Semitic folk) but also just reveals the basic weakness of the antichoice side: they have to resort to absurd emotive “arguments” designed to make people flinch and say “oh no that’s terrible!” instead of actually relying on fact, or logic, or, well, anything.
It’s also kind of hilariously ironic that Judaism is pretty down with the abortion rights, given that whole “first breath” test for personhood. Hilarious that is if Right to Bonerlife weren’t exploiting genocide to shock people into not thinking.
See, when you have to actually rely on the horrors of the Holocaust to win people over, because the actual reality of abortion isn’t good enough … you and your boner are pretty screwed, right?
Let’s not forget the slippery slope argument for good measure:
If today we allow the denial of the human rights of unborn children by the decriminalisation of abortion, which vulnerable section of our community will be next?
I’m thinking hipsters, or maybe people who still subscribe to the Sunday Star-Times. Oh, wait, except they’re all born, autonomous beings who aren’t using a woman’s breath, blood and organs to survive. Damn.
*Any antichoicers who want to prove this is all about controlling women by commenting about how “women bring it on themselves when they have sex” should feel absolutely welcome to do so.
**And doesn’t that just tell you plenty about Right to Bodysnatch’s worldview?
A tad behind the times on this, but there’s been so much idiocy going about these days one has had trouble keeping up – not to mention that The Christmas is fast approaching.
First things first: Long story short, Paul Henry added to his incredibly long list of infractions against basic tact/class/decency/empathy by referring to Susan Boyle as “retarded”.
Second thing second: The bloggers at The Hand Mirror have a post up with some ideas about how to actually do something more than ignore Paul Henry in the vain hope he’ll go away.
Third thing third: I could go on (and on and on and on) about Paul Henry, but that gets a little dull after a while, and why bother when there’s a much higher calibre of stupidity on the menu?
I speak of an instalment of Moata’s Blog Idle on *shudder* Stuff.
Specifically, a post entitled (because she’s so clever!) Let’s get retarded.
I’m sure we’re all breathless with antici…pation to see where she’s going to go with this one, right?
Well, she’s straight into it with an innovative twist on the old “I’m not racist but …”:
Let me just start by stating quite clearly that I am no great fan, or any sized fan, of Paul Henry.
It’s not just that you can see the apologism bearing down on you from miles away, it’s that there’s also something of an attempt to invoke QoT’s Law Of Strange Bedfellows: why, if adorable “thirtysomething”* quirky girl-blogger Moata is actually going to agree with crotchety wankstain Paul Henry, surely there must be something in it, right?
And after some meandering through the classic Stuff blogger’s “what I ate for breakfast today” opening paragraphs we’re into the meat of it, the delicious steak of oblivious privilege upon which all future paragraphs will be but an array of experience-enhancing sauces:
But let’s have a little discussion about the use of the word “retard”, shall we, since it seems to be very much a topic of conversation at the moment? In the past I’ve been taken to task for my use of this word, and I’ve accepted that it’s not to everyone’s liking but I am relatively unapologetic about it. I’m very much a fan of words and I’m not going to facetiously claim that a word is just a word and it can’t hurt you. Certainly words do have power, but sometimes only as much power as you are willing to give them.
Talking to readers like they’re schoolchildren and having to type out this post is a chore? Check.
Martyr complex because ZOMG someone has previously expressed displeasure at your use of offensive words? Check.
Brash declaration of refusal to give in to The Soldiers of Political Correctness, buttressed with sanctimonious I LOVE LANGUAGE bullshit? Check.
Statement about not downplaying something’s offensiveness immediately succeeded by downplaying its offensiveness? Check.
Smug implication that it’s actually your fault for feeling offended, you hypersensitive snowflake? Check.
With AMAZING BONUS “oh but I said sometimes I didn’t mean you” weasel-clause? Ladies, gentlemen, small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, we have a winner!
This is a princely piece of work, this. The word “retarded”, you see, is simply not to everyone’s liking. It’s a matter of personal taste, an aesthetic choice, much like those stimulating “whence” vs. “from whence” debates one might have over a cup of wanker tea. Nothing serious.
Nothing, for example, like a word with strong negative connotations used as a blanket term for both all mental illness and a lack of intellect, forethought, reason, or rational capabilities.
Nothing that could possibly give any kind of message, like “mentally ill people are all stupid”, certainly nothing that could be used to dehumanize an entire group of people, nothing that could be a part of common usage as a putdown because we view people with mental illness as being lesser beings, because we [being of course the neurotypical majority who get to decide these things] consider it a bad, awful, horrible thing to be thought of as a retard.
If you’re having a hard time drawing the comparison, consider “throwing like a girl”, which I’ll come back to in a moment – because first, Moata has to let us know just how unwilling she is to acknowledge reality.
My take on the use of the word “retarded” is that it falls into two distinct categories. You can use it derogatively or jocularly to refer to someone or something that is judged to be stupid or behave stupidly. For instance, “trying to flirt with a woman by telling her you’re going to kidnap her (I overheard a guy yell this at an attractive female as she walked past a couple of weeks ago) is retarded”. This is probably the way that the word is used by most people, most of the time (though not on television).
The second use of the term is to refer to someone who has some kind of deficiency of intellect that can accurately be described as a kind of mental retardation. As best as I can tell this is the origin of the word “retard” which has since acquired a broader usage by being applied to things (or people) who are not, in fact, mentally deficient.
Like an episode of The Simpsons, we’re working on multiple levels here. So, the first “distinct category” – retarded = stupid (oh but remember, it can be used jocularly!).
The second, retarded = mentally deficient.
First, the junior circuit stupid. Moata apparently wants us to believe that when people call someone retarded, we just mean “stupid”. Nothing more. It’s just a synonym, with no implications or assumptions. No one, hearing a person say “That guy is retarded” (jocularly!), could possibly understand it to mean “that person is mentally deficient the way a generic person with mental illness (but let’s face it, probably someone with visible illness/condition/disability, and let’s face it further, almost certainly down’s syndrome) is mentally deficient”.
No no no, they hear “that guy is retarded” and it magically has no associations with the second “distinct category” at all. Fuck me, I think Moata’s a psychic and hasn’t figured out the rest of us aren’t.
Senior stupid: if we look very closely in the thick undergrowth of the bloggy rainforest, we may be able to make out some fan-fucking-tastic normative language.
some kind of deficiency of intellect
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The way Moata, and a lot of her readers, and certainly all the other people who hit on this particular defence of the word, make nice big bold statements about how there’s obviously a normal level of intellect, and some people just don’t have it, and so they’re deficient. Not like us normal people who have normal intellects.
And it’s obviously totes cool to refer to these deficient people as retards, because they’re backwards. You know, like referring to indigenous peoples as primitive or barbaric because they haven’t discovered the joys of urban disease and nuclear warfare. I mean, it’s a thoroughly objective thing to do, because we’re normal. Right? I mean, we must be, because everyone knows that not being normal would be a terrible thing.
But don’t let me get carried away. Moata continues to impress by finding new and astounding ways to make my jaw drop:
So the irony with regards to the current Paul Henry debacle (there’ll be another one next week) is that he’s got himself into trouble for using the word, not in the derogatory way that it is often used by people like me, but by actually applying it to someone who apparently is a little retarded.
Now, the fact that “Paul smooth-as-a-gravy-sandwich Henry” took a gleeful delight in reading about Susan Boyle’s misfortune in life is an entirely different issue. He could have used any word to describe her mental condition; what’s really upsetting is the silly, schoolboy laughter that accompanied it.
I mean, shit on a brick. The irony is that Paul Henry was actually calling a person retarded who IS retarded! Isn’t life funny that way? I mean, obviously he went too far with the laughing, the implication in his laughter that being retarded is a bad thing. Because we all know that it can just be an accurate term for someone who’s mentally deficient. Right?
And Susan Boyle obviously is retarded, I mean, Moata’s a physician psychic so she knows, it’s not like she, just like Paul Henry, is making assumptions about people based on their appearances or lives or attitudes or anything.
It’s certainly not like she, like Paul Henry, like many other people, feel quite comfortable saying “this woman looks a bit dim and is single and old and sings songs from Les Mis so she must have been brain damaged because no normal person could be dim/single/old/a Les Mis fan”. It’s not like the continuing casual use of the word retard in any way supports these assumptions. That would be wrong.
It’s par for the course that, naturally, Moata doesn’t really take these ideas any further. That would involve her having ideas. Instead, it’s back to the Stuff blogger’s grab-bag of tricks and making it all about her:
Personally, I’m going to continue to call myself or my nearest and dearest “retarded” when I or they do something stupid. I’m going to continue to prefer the original version of the Black Eyed Peas song otherwise sanitised-for-our-safety as “Let’s get it started”. I’m going to continue to think Paul Henry’s a dick, because he kind of is one. What I’m not going to do is taunt someone with an intellectual handicap with the word “retard” or laugh at their misfortune because the thing that I am most grateful for in life is my good mind.
LOOK OUT, WORLD! We’re dealing with a FREE SPIRIT here who will NOT BE DENIED her right to be a fucking insensitive douchebag of the highest order.
Christ, Moata. Just tattoo “I don’t know anybody with visible disability and I lack the capacity for basic empathy unless something personally affects me” on your forehead while you’re at it. They can take your original-edit Black Eyed Peas from your cold, dead hands, right? Because the word “retarded” is just so essential to the subtext of that song, it loses its meaning without it.
And oh good Lords and Ladies, that last sentence. Let’s see it again for the audience at home:
What I’m not going to do is taunt someone with an intellectual handicap with the word “retard” or laugh at their misfortune because the thing that I am most grateful for in life is my good mind.
So apparently, even though “retarded” is a totally appropriate word to use (jocularly!) to describe people who are “mentally deficient”, Moata … has reservations about using it to a person’s mentally-deficient face. I guess that’s back to not to everyone’s liking, or maybe it’s just taunting people with it. Context, tone, these things are all so important when you’re not just taking half a fucking neuron to not be an offensive wanker.
And remember, kiddies, Moata’s most important message: even though there are no bad connotations to a neurotypical person being called a “retard”, because it’s fucking jocular, we should still be mindful of the MISFORTUNES of people with intellectual disabilities. THOSE POOR FUCKING SOULS, DON’T WE JUST WEEP FOR THEM, THEY’RE LIKE PINOCCHIO ONLY RETARDS INSTEAD OF PUPPETS. Fucking misfortune, Moata? You’re going to play the “words only have the power you give them” AND the “it’s technically accurate” cards and then you are going to fucking pity people who have mental disabilities or illness.
Good thing you’ve got a “good mind”, Moata. That should make up for your complete lack of basic fucking soul.
*Personal gripe: OWN YOUR FUCKING AGE, WOMAN.
Two Hone Harawira posts in a row. I apologise. It’s Friday (well, technically Saturday at this point) and I’m cranky and in need of beddy-byes, however, so just a quick hit on the continuing saga of Mofo-gate.*
And it’s back to The Standard, where the usual suspects are still trying to act like the writers are a great hivemind of Newspeaking automata despite massive evidence to the contrary, and it’s Marty G, for whom I normally have a lot of respect.
And I don’t so much have any analysis to offer as some snark for this opening paragraph-and-a-bit:
Frankly, I don’t appreciate being called a white motherf**ker, by Buddy Mikaere and Hone Harawira. Before you start, that’s not to deny that Pakeha stole vast amounts of Maori resources despite the treaty signed between the Crown and iwi, and in spite of the Crown’s own laws. …
But none of that justifies calling my whole ethnic group motherf**kers, which is what Harawira did.
Of course, Marty. You’re not denying that Maori have been generally shat on, no, no, not at all, and certainly a post entitled “Harawira offensive & dumb. No excuses” is by no means privileging the icky fee fees of white men, and the phrase “Frankly I don’t appreciate” is by no means centring your experience and trying to claim a headmaster-ish highground in the tone stakes.
Tune in further down for some outraged rejections of rocky’s previously-linked linguistic arguments, hilariously followed by the first instance I’ve seen of someone actually reducing Harawira’s comments to “Goff should be shot”, adorable ellipses notwithstanding; and a nice piece of bullshit “I’m totes worried for him!!!” concern trolling.
All delectable cherries on top of a beautiful WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE FEELINGS OF WHITE MEN, THE NASTY MAN CALLED US NAMES parfait.
*I hereby claim dibs on this coinage, it’s so adorably kitsch.
1. To Larry Baldock, my sincere thanks for furnishing Granny Herald with a photo that makes anything I might write about your lust for child-punishing redundant.
2. To the 88%-of-54% who voted “no”, many of whom thought they were just being practical, and fair, and don’t want “good parents” punished, I invite you to consider that people like Larry Baldock don’t actually care what you thought, because all they wanted, and all you’ve actually done is given them more credibility when they say “oh, and not just light smacks, but rulers and wooden spoons too.”*
3. Finally, to anyone who thinks a referendum based on such a loaded question actually means anything, I can do no better than leave you with Sir Humphrey:
Any no-voters reading this? Please feel free to preface your comments with a single incident of a parent being “criminalized” for a “light smack” or GTFO.
*What next? People with intellectual disabilites? Oh, but only when they’re endangering themselves and you can’t reason with them and it’s just transitory (which would seem logically inconsistent with having any disciplinary effect anyway) and sometimes you just get frustrated and lash out but that doesn’t make you a bad person EXCEPT IT DOES.
… we just need a pseudonymous part-time blogger to do it.
Skullduggery! It seems that at 2.31pm yesterday, just as the Herald “learned” about Mr Burgess’s burgeoning capitalist empire, David Eames or whoever the malevolent force behind APN is (in my mind’s eye he looks like Dick Dastardly) edited the article to make it very clear that this was not the Herald’s story after all. Hmm. What was the name of that other journalist who quietly changed the past to avoid embarrassment? That’s right: Stalin.
Tip of the hat and a proferring of the poncy crystal decanter to Editing the Herald, our last, best hope for making even portions of the Granny Herald readable.
Not sure if this has been covered elsewhere, as I just have time to post before din-dins.
Let’s start with a headline, courtesy of The Age via stuff.co.nz, which basically screams “let’s get some gratuitous offensiveness on”:
It can’t get worse? The hell you say!
An Australian court has allowed a 17-year-old girl to have her breasts removed so she can be more like a boy.
Or as we say in HaveAFuckingBrainistan, “An Australian court has allowed a young transgender man to have surgery so his external appearance can reflect his internal reality.”
… Admittedly, that requires both having a brain and believing in this crazy notion that transgendered people exist.
It’s your usual “denial of transgendered person’s identity, constant and deliberate use of blatantly incorrect pronoun in the face of clear stated preference” tail, only this one has two little twists, one almost funny and the other fucking sick:
First, there’s the fact that Justice Diana Bryant, who made the decision to allow 17-year-old Alex to have the surgery, always uses the correct, male, pronoun … which, given the introduction has already identified Alex as a girl, leads to this:
Justice Bryant told The Age: “In the end, it wasn’t a particularly difficult issue because the only real issue was, ‘Would he (Alex) have it at 17 or once he’s 18?’ Then, he doesn’t need permission…
The “journalist” feels the need to explain that the he Justice Bryant refers to is the same Alex referred to in the headline as a girl.
I mean, most people might have taken the hint when the Chief Justice of the Family Court is using a particular set of words to describe a person.
But not Karen Kissane, senior writer at The Age. Nope, she goes straight for the fucking sick twist:
But ethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini said mainstream medicine did not recognise hormone treatments and surgery as treatment for gender dysphoria. He said it was a psychiatric disorder qualifying under American guidelines as a psychosis because “it’s a belief out of accordance with reality“.
Well, he’s an ethicist, he would know, right?
And if there were anything about this ethicist that might possibly put his comments in context, Karen Kissane would have mentioned it, right?
Like how they stick little “XYZ ABC is a commentator for the Suchandsuch Thinktank and has previously written on the effect of lint on suit jackets” disclaimers at the end of opinion pieces.
I mean, if you’re just going to call someone an ethicist and then report their words with no criticism or questioning, they’ve got to be, well, credible, right?
You wouldn’t, for example, expect them to be Associate Professors at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, right? It’s not like that screams I have a certain and telling doctrine underwriting my statements on gender and identity or anything. It’s not like that might affect how people read this article, and interpret this ethicist’s statements, and how they reflect on the life and identity of a 17-year-old boy.
Karen Kissane, I might have raised an eyebrow over your illiterate inability to get the pronouns right. I might have just screamed FUCK at my computer screen a few times over that pathetic excuse for a headline.
But when you describe Alex’s identity as “longing to be the opposite sex”, when you quote someone like Nick Toni-Filippini and feel apparently no need to point out that his comments are hardly objective, when you discard the serious efforts Justice Bryant has gone to to reach the best decision for Alex because you want to treat a young transman as a circus freak to get you headlines?
There is a special circle of Hell waiting for you, Karen.
Letters to The Age: email@example.com
I don’t want to get into Paul Henry’s predictably obnoxious comments about Stephanie Mills of Greenpeace and her physical appearance. Gina has a [guest] post at The Hand Mirror about it, as does Tane at The Standard.
What I do want to point out, though, is how utterly oblivious some of the comments on that Standard post are (The Hand Mirror draws fewer Fungi from Yuggoth, but they’re there too).
If she knew she was going on TV, then why didn’t she shave first?
[Same commenter further down] Facial hair can be sorted out in about two seconds.
MIlls DOES have a moustache, it DOES look ridiculous, and of course all Henry did was read out emails.
And there’s bingo-triggering concern troll Madeleine:
I felt for the woman as having a problem like that is embarassing and having it all over TV is not nice but its like any personal problem that is visible, if you are about to go on TV you pop that pimple, you wipe that snot, you clean your face, you do your hair, you put on makeup and tidy clothes, you wax/shave your mo.
And I have just one very simple question:
Why the FUCK does Stephanie Mills owe you wankers a hair-free upper lip?
Oh, that’s right. She’s an independent, autonomous human being who can set her own priorities and make her own decisions and look however the fuck she wants to look. And especially when your fucking ilk are complaining over at THM that no one “has the right NOT to be offended”? It’s supreme fucking hypocrisy to simultaneously whine that you’ve been exposed to someone who clearly hasn’t had your specific aesthetic pleasure foremost in her mind.
I’m sorry to break it to you, guys, but societal beauty standards? Not actually laws. And while I’m sure you’re fucking thrilled that across the country hundreds of thousands of women are stressing the fuck out over invisible blemishes they’ve been assured are there by cosmetics ads, you know what? Some women don’t have the time, or the money, or the inclination (or they’re tweezing and curling and grooming according to their own damn aesthetics). And those women do not fucking owe you an existence without seeing a non-airbrushed human form.
Stephanie Mills can do whatever the fuck she likes with her appearance. At the end of the day, she’ll still be a fucktonne more dignified than you.
PS. GREENPEACE IS ONE FUCKING WORD YOU FUCKING IDIOTS.
Because I would have been so right.
The case: immigration officials went on a raid on a brothel accompanied by a reality-TV film crew. One patron of said brothel leapt to his death out a window, presumably out of fear of being identified.
Anna at THM saw this from the angles of 1) potentially safety concerns if sex workers don’t consider brothels safe, and 2) the fuckwittery of Tuariki Delamere acting like the real problem is that suspected trafficking victims might have, oh no, broken immigration law.
Karl du Fresne (whose blog’s title, “Curmudgeon”, should prepare us for some Aren’t I A Practical Old Bastard, Those Yoof Don’t Understand The Realities of Life bollocks from the get-go) thinks this is terrible, too. You see, it’s a matter of privacy, and how … certain people’s privacy is threatened when reality TV cameras go into brothels.
Go on, guess who Karl’s worried about.
Because a tragedy has occurred on Auckland’s motorway, and someone has been paid God knows how much to let the following sentence go to [website] print:
Monday is Auckland Anniversary Day. Police are urging all traffic are urged to take alternative routes.
I swear, my brain focuses on these details to prevent me losing all faith in this fine country. See also: National’s “less bureaucrats” election billboards.