I am the craft destroyer - Tactical Ninja
Jan. 14th, 2014
09:56 am - I am the craft destroyer
Careful observers will note that the bit where the glue goes in looks pretty munted. It didn't look quite as munted before I stuck a kebab stick in it to try and rescue what glue I could to finish a project. Instead there was just a big blob of glue on the side, because it seemed the path of least resistance was out the back instead of out the front. And no, it wasn't blocked. It was just buggered.
However, I think using low quality glue from the $2 shop probably didn't help here. And why was I using low quality glue? Funny story...
You see, Dr Wheel is also doing a project that involves lots of hot gluing, and it'd got to the point where he needed his own gun because I was constantly using mine. Had this not happened, I would never have known about the Bunnings weirdness. Bunnings being the place that sells glue guns and good quality hot glue. But it's a funny thing, they don't keep them with the adhesives, and it's really hard to find them without asking. So we both had to ask.
The answer they gave me? "With the craft stuff." Sure enough, there was a hook that should have held hot glue - empty. So I went and got some at the $2 shop because they actually had some.
The answer they gave Dr Wheel? "With the welding stuff." Sure enough, there were a multitude of glue guns and a pile of quality glue sticks. Which I found out later from him, and went back to get my new gun and sticks without having to ask.
So, I wonder why they told him welding and me crafts? I'm trying hard not to be uncharitable about gender assumptions here, but it's annoying just the same. *mutter*
Meanwhile in New Zealand, there's a Conservative tosspot named Colin Craig. He has a political party called the Conservative Party and he's all for those wholesome family values such as refusing to acknowledge Maori culture as relevant to New Zealand, refusing to allow gay marriage, and supporting traditional gender roles. Nobody would give a crap except that our current government, which has been slipping in the polls leading into an election year, has been courting this party as a potential coalition partner. Eek.
And yesterday, Craig got in the news for saying that NZ's anti-smacking law is stupid and that he smacks his children.
So what? Well, it depends on what side of the fence you're on really. Those who think the legislation is the government interfering with people's right to parent their children the way they want, are saying "Good on him." Those who think any kind of smacking is assault, are saying that Craig wants the right to beat his children.
This kind of shit really annoys me. To understand why, you have to understand a bit about the so-called Anti-Smacking law.
You can read the details here, but if you can't be arsed, it can be summarised as follows:
Prior to the institution of this amendment, 'correction of a child' could be used as justification for use of 'reasonable' force against a child.
After the legislation, it could not. Justifications still allowed include preventing harm, preventing crime, preventing offensive or disruptive behaviour, or 'the normal daily tasks incidental to good care or parenting'. Whatever that means.
The reason this legislation came up was that on several occasions, 'good parental correction' had been used successfully as a defence in child abuse cases that really should have been convicted. "I beat my kid to teach her" etc. And so, the law was changed to make it so someone who'd been smacking their kid round the head with a four by two could no longer say that it was for their own good, to make them better people. The last clause in the Act gives discretion to the police about whether to prosecute cases where offences 'are considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding.'
That's it. If you beat your kid, you can't use correction as an excuse any more. Normal parents won't be convicted for inconsequential smacking because that's a waste of public resources.
However, some people, some loud people, managed to convice quite a large majority of the public that this meant smacking your child is banned and that your neighbour could dob you in to the cops and you could be sent to jail for it. Never mind that last clause, eh? Leaving it to the discretion of the police? Can't have that! Everyone knows they can't tell the difference between smacking and beating! People will be jailed for being good parents! I was smacked and I'm ok!
The thing is, this supposed inability to tell the difference between smacking and beating is the entire reason the law came into existence. Most people do not beat their kids. Some do. And some, who have the money or the luck to have skilled lawyers, were able to convince a judge that beating their kid for their own good was ok. Now they can't. Personally I think that's a good thing.
I was smacked as a child. Not beaten. I know the difference. I remember an occasion as a teenager when a dressage whip was used on me (not by my parents), and that is definitely a case that would come under the new law. I tend to agree. It wasn't the whip that 'corrected' me, it was the surrounding stuff - the knowledge that I was in big trouble, that I'd been caught, that I'd betrayed a trust. The whip was nothing, unnecessary for my 'correction'. But it was assault with a weapon, and it left marks for a week.
That's the sort of thing that people who are up against child abuse charges are no longer able to get away with as a punishment for bad behaviour. A light smack on the bum, or a 'flick on the knuckle with a finger', whatever that means Mr Craig, is not going to result in the police charging in and taking your kid away. And to think so is to display a lack of understanding of the law that is somewhat embarrassing in a politician.
So when folks who I agree with about the value of this law start saying things like "Mr Craig wants the legal right to beat his kids" or even as I saw yesterday, "Mr Craig admits to beating his kids", they are in a sense displaying the same lack of understanding. I very much doubt that Mr Craig beats his kids, or even wants the right to. I doubt he wants others to have that right either. And to say so indicates an inability to differentiate between smacking and beating which concerns me quite a lot. Because it's the same lack of understanding Mr Craig has himself.
He thinks the law conflates smacking with beating, and that he could be arrested on beating charges for smacking.
These people are conflating smacking with beating, and saying that Mr Craig beats his children because he thinks smacking them is ok.
And if we continue to do this, there is no way we'll ever convince the likes of Mr Craig (and there are a lot of them) of the reality of this law, which is simply that people who beat (not smack) their kids can't get away with it in the name of discipline any more.
Having said all that, personally I don't think smacking or even finger-flicking (whatever that means) is a necessary or desirable part of parenting. I am embarrassed to admit that I hit (smacked) my kid twice as he was growing. On both occasions it was due to a failure on my part to exercise a) restraint and b) alternative options. I am proud to say that it was only twice, and that was very early on and I felt bad enough about it to learn better ways and discipline myself to apply them. Because I am a fucking adult.
However, my kid did get hit a lot, and some of that hitting would probably come under the law. I don't know the truth of it, but I remember an evening when he called me because he was hiding from his family because someone was on a rampage and he was afraid. That sort of thing makes me think it wasn't just a smack on the hand, eh? It took several years of hard work on his part to get away from the mindset where he would lie, cheat, deflect, withdraw, basically do anything to avoid provoking anger in authority figures. Because he'd been trained to avoid getting hit where possible.
There's a better way. And in my opinion, the existence of this law is making people think about those better ways. Even the smackers and finger-flickers are having to think about what hitting a kid, however lightly, actually means. That's a good thing.
So please, supporters of the law, stop accusing Mr Craig of beating his kids. You're a) wrong, b) devaluing the difference that the law exists to clarify, and c) cementing the idea in the minds of the public that this anti-beating-excuse law is actually an anti-smacking law.