In what can only be seen as an own-foot-shooting, futile, other-foot-firmly-planted-in-mouth exercise, Colin Craig today sicced his legal rottweilers onto the satirical blog, The Civilian.
Evidently, Colin “The-Fourteenth-Apostle” Craig didn’t see the humour in the satirical blogpost, Maurice Williamson looking pretty stupid after floods, where the blogger “quoted” Craig as “saying”,
“Williamson likes to talk about big gay rainbows,” said Craig, “but it would help if he understood what the rainbow actually means. After Noah’s flood, God painted a giant rainbow across the sky, which was a message that he would never again flood the world, unless we made him very angry. And we have.”
Let’s be clear here; Craig did not make that statement and most people with a reasonably high-functing brain would’ve understood that.
It was satire. Humour. Make funny. Happy la-la’s.
So for Craig to take offence and instruct his lawyers to send a threatening letter to The Civilian’s editor, Ben Uffindell, kinda beggars belief. In short – what a f****n dumb thing to do.
For one thing, this story has now exploded into the mainstream media, and onto social media. The story has ‘legs’ and been covered in the NZ Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio NZ, Newstalk ZB, and probably elsewhere. (And it will be further raised, discussed, and mercilessly poked fun at, this afternoon on Jim Mora’s panel-show at 4pm.)
So rather unsurprisingly, web traffic to The Civilian has skyrocketed,
Mr Uffindell said the website’s servers had been struggling to keep up with the massive spike of traffic caused by publicity of the incident.
Acknowledgement: Fairfax Media – Conservative Party threaten legal action over satire
This is the kind of publicity every blogger dreams about and Ben Uffindell must be laughing with glee and thanking whatever gods he worships, for his lucky day.
Second point, Craig was quoted (?) in a NZ Herald story and stating,
“I take these things pretty seriously. We are a serious political party and want to go a long way, so making sure that what is reported on what I have said, is accurate is important.
But when it comes to statements being reported in the public sphere … there is no room for humour.”
Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Colin Craig warns on satirical quote
“…there is no room for humour.”
Well, he’s got a point there. After all, how many people can forget Craig’s explicitly non-satirical comment when he labelled every young woman in New Zealand as whores,
“…We are the country with the most promiscuous young women in the world. This does nothing to help us at all.”
Acknowledgement: TV3 – Kiwi women ‘most promiscuous’ – Colin Craig
No room for humour there, I think. And when given a chance to apologise or withdraw that comment on TVNZ’s Q+A, on 13 May 2012, Craig shrugged it off with a typical rightwing cop-out, hiding behind the label of “political correctness”,
PAUL HOLMES: “Anyway, the perception, I think, is that you blew it with that one bizarre comment. ”
COLIN CRAIG: “Well, look, I’m always going to be speaking my mind. As I say, I think it was a true comment. If people want a politically correct conservative party, then they’re not going to find it in the Conservative Party. ”
Acknowledgement: TVNZ – Q+A
Methinks there’s a strong stench of hypocrisy with Mr Craig having such a micron-thin-skin toward a satirical website – and yet has no hesitation in indulging in some casual misogyny slagging of every young woman in the country by calling them “the most promiscuous young women in the world”.
Imagine if all 2.2 million women in this country instructed their lawyers to send a letter to Craig, threatening him with legal action for defamation?
For him, that’s “political correctness”.
But if a satirical website does it to him… *wags finger* “Tut, tut!”
The good news, folks, is that on Radio NZ’s “Morning Report”, Colin “My-god-is-more-omnipotent-than-your-god” Craig said,
“Look, um, I know and people who know me think I’m pretty funny sort of a guy. I love cartoons.”
Acknowledgement: Radio NZ -
Yeah, Colin, you’re a laugh-a-minute. In fact, people laugh at you more than you realise.
At 11:32 am this morning, Radio NZ reported that Colin “Invisible-beings-talk-to-me” Craig had withdrawn his threat of legal action because this “retraction” had been posted on The Civilian,
“This article is the subject of a legal dispute between The Civilian and Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig, which came about as the result of a legal notice that you can read in full here.
In this article, The Civilian published a statement which it attributed to Colin Craig regarding Maurice Williamson, “big gay rainbows” and the passing of the gay marriage legislation. We accept, upon further review, that Mr. Craig never made the statement attributed to him. We retract the statement and apologise to Mr. Craig for any harm we have caused to his impeccable reputation.
We would like to note that we have also taken the additional measure of bolding the statement in question so that everybody knows which thing it was that Mr. Craig did not say.“
Radio NZ further reports,
The story is still on the website, but editor Ben Uffindel has written to the lawyers with a signed copy of the retraction and apology statement.
However, the letter is clearly tongue-in-cheek and is signed with a large smiley face.
Acknowledgement: Radio NZ – Defamation threat withdrawn
Mr Craig, you’re still a clown. As our American cuzzies like to put it, consider yourself ‘owned‘.
TV3: Kiwi women ‘most promiscuous’ – Colin Craig (9 May 2012)
Radio NZ: Legal action threatened over satirical item (24 April 2013)
NZ Herald: Colin Craig warns on satirical quote (24 April 2013)
Fairfax Media: Conservative Party threaten legal action over satire (24 April 2013)
Newstalk ZB: Colin Craig goes after ‘The Civilian‘ (24 April 2013)
= fs =
… Peter Jackson, John Key, and Warner Bros, for their cunning performance over, ‘The Hobbit‘!
In 2010, Jackson, Key, and Warner Bros, created mass public hysteria by suggesting that film production of ‘The Hobbit‘ would be moved overseas, unless labour laws were changed; the union, Actors Equity neutralised; and film subsidies increased. (see: Hobbit tax rebate swells to $67.1m in second year of production).
Only private schools and soon-to-be-set-up Charter Schools enjoy similar taxpayer funded subsidies.
Key duly bent over, changed labour laws (See: Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Act 2010 – Legislative history) and turned actors and film technicians from being employees to “contractors”.
At the stroke of a pen – similar to a Decree issued by a lone despot in some authoritarian regime – National unilaterally changed workers from being employees to sub-contractors. The resulting changes were stark;
- Employees can negotiate collectively for a collective agreement
- Sub-contractors cannot
- Employees had minimum wage; sick pay; holiday pay; appropriate employment/termination protections; etc.
- Sub-contractors do not.
The law was passed in under 48 hours.
It subsequently turned out, according to an email from Jackson to National Minister, Gerry Brownlee, that the threat of moving ‘The Hobbit‘ overseas was non-existent,
Sir Peter Jackson told the Government he did not believe an international actors’ boycott would force The Hobbit overseas, emails show.
The message, sent to the office of Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee on October 18, is in stark contrast to comments the film-maker made earlier in the month.
On October 1, he said: “The Hobbit is being punished with a boycott which is endangering thousands of New Zealand jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign income, for no good reason.”
Sir Peter dismissed the idea that movie production was moving overseas because it was cheaper to make films there.
“It’s completely absurd! Eastern Europe is only being considered because a minority group of the New Zealand acting community have invoked union action that has blacklisted our film, making it impossible to shoot in New Zealand.”
But on October 18, Sir Peter said the boycott had nothing to do with the movies potentially moving overseas.
“There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit,” he wrote.
“What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible.”
The October 18 email also suggests Sir Peter thought the boycott had been lifted, even though he said in television interviews three days later he was unsure if it had been officially ditched.
Sir Peter declined to comment through a spokesman yesterday.
Actors, as well as film technicians, lost many rights, and Warner Bros got everything they demanded.
Two and half years later, and consequences remained to be played out.
Yesterday (25 February 2013), the Oscar Awards were held in Hollywood.
‘The Hobbit‘ did not fare well,
It might be said that events in New Zealand in 2010 – with the craven capitulation to Hollywood business moguls – did not escape the attention of actors and others in the film-making industry. The corporate-government assault on the rights of film workers has not been forgotten.
What is ironic, though, is that Jackson, Key, and Warner Bros have forgotten that, in Hollywood movies, the ‘little guy’ triumphs in the end.
What was Frodo’s journey all about, Mr Jackson?
Previous related blogposts
Foreign fishing boats, Hobbits, and the National Guvmint (2 March 2012)
Key: When I say ‘no’, I mean ‘no’. Maybe. (4 Oct 2012)
Muppets, Hobbits, and Scab ‘Unions’ (9 Oct 2012)
Peter Jackson’s “Precious” (28 Nov 2012)
Ok, back to reality, as determined by this particuular quantum spacetime continuum…
Now, maybe I’m an old fashioned kinda bloke… maybe I see things a bit more ‘grounded’… But the ways I sees it, the things that really do undermine the “future of humanity” involves the following;
- climate change – all that pollution we’re casually pumping into the atmosphere cannot be good for animals, plant-life, the oceans, and little children.
- the widening wealth-gap – creating a social dislocation which may ultimately lead to social unrest, revolution, collapse of governments (hence the Arab Spring and the London riots, last year), increasing number of failed states, and the Rise of the Planet of the Apes! (Ok, the last bit may be a tad fanciful. Or not.)
- resource wars for oil, water, food… whatever is in short-supply due to the burgeoning human population on this little planet.
- over-population – which you, Mr Pope, can actually do something about! When Big Bro up in the sky said “go forth and multiply”, he didn’t mean until there’s standing room only! He kinda assumed that we had enough common sense to recognise limits to what Planet Earth can hold and feed. (Hah! Fat chance! This is the Human Gimmee-All-You-Got Race we’re talking about here!)
- and greed. The Human Race does Greed very well. Heck, there are political parties founded on the ‘Nobility’ of Greed – just ask the Republicans and our own, home-grown, National/ACT parties!
Those are the things I’d be worried about, Pope Bro. Not what a couple of blokes may or may not be doing in the privacy of their own homes. I mean, really, two guys hugging? Even snogging? What do you want them to do instead – don battle-fatigues and go shoot up a village somewhere?
Look mate. I know the Bible sez a few things about gays. Like, stoning them.
But the Bible also suggests that’s it’s ok to call a woman a witch and burn her alive, whilst tied to a stake. These days, that would be called pre-meditated murder.
Ditto for stoning to death service-station workers who work on Sundays. (Though some might still advocate that for unionised-workers, I’m thinking.)
Time to move on. This is 2012AD. Not 2012BC. Hassling gays is not cool. We don’t do shit like that anymore.
There are worse things in the world today. Like the stuff I outlined above. And intolerance. You know “intolerance”? It’s where a Christian go into a Northern Ireland bar and blows up other Christians, ‘cos they were the wrong brand of christianity. Or a muslim who does the same thing in a mosque, ‘cos the muslims inside were the wrong flavour of Islam.
Now THAT is a threat to the future of the Human Race.
Not Bert and Ernie saying they love each other.
Just when you thought the human race couldn’t possibly be any more insane than it already is, we find two stories. One is from the most technologically advanced, wealthiest nations on planet Earth. The other is from a semi-failed state that is like taking a Tardis trip 1,000 years into the past.
Members at the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church voted Sunday on the resolution, which says the church “does not condone interracial marriage.”
The church member who crafted the resolution, Melvin Thompson, said he is not racist and called the matter an “internal affair.”
“I am not racist. I will tell you that. I am not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil about a race,” said Thompson, the church’s former pastor who stepped down earlier this year. “That’s what this is being portrayed as, but it is not.”
Melvin Thompson is adamant that he is not a racist or prejudiced.
Of course not. Basing your beliefs on the colour of one’s skin isn’t racism. We all know that. Racism happens somewhere else.
Personally, I’m happy to dispense with the term “racism” and just use alternative terms. Like, ignorance.
There you go, Mr Thompson; you’re not racist, you’re just plain ignorant. Happy?
And from the other side of the planet, far removed from rural Kentucky, the human capacity for infinity craziness and cruelty carries on,
Karzai’s office said in a statement that the woman and her attacker have agreed to marry. That would reverse an earlier decision by the 19-year-old woman, who had previously refused a judge’s offer of freedom if she agreed to marry the rapist.
Her plight was highlighted in a documentary that the European Union blocked because it feared the women featured in the film would be in danger if it were shown.
More than 5,000 people recently signed a petition urging Karzai to release the woman. She had the man’s child while in prison and raised her daughter behind bars, which is common among women imprisoned in Afghanistan.
A statement released by Karzai’s office says that after hearing from judicial officials, the decision was made to forgive the rest of the sentence she received for having sex out of wedlock, a crime in Afghanistan. The presidential statement did not say when the woman was to be released or how much prison time had been pardoned.
The woman told The Associated Press in an interview last month that she had hoped that attention generated by the EU film might help her get released. With the film blocked, she said that she was losing hope and considering marrying her rapist as a way out. She said her attacker was pressuring her to stop giving interviews.
About half of the 300 to 400 women jailed in Afghanistan are imprisoned for so-called “moral crimes” such as sex outside marriage, or running away from their husbands, according to reports by the United Nations and research organizations. Fleeing husbands isn’t considered a crime in Afghanistan.
Ever wondered what a society ruled by misogynistic village idiots would look like? Welcome to Afghanistan, circa 2011AD. Or 1011AD. Or 11AD. (Makes no difference, really.)
The only difference between these two stories is that our American cuzzies have no excuse. They have unfettered access to education and 21st century communications. And when even Presidential candidates indulge in a bit of outrageous racism, is there really that much difference between the two cultures?
It’s amazing the depths of ignorance human beings can plumb, especially when they claim to have a god on their side…