November 6th, 2013



So last night was Guy Fawkes night. Whether you understand about this depends on where you come from, I guess. In New Zealand it's a fairly big deal, even since skyrockets were banned and fireworks got super expensive. Normally the council puts on a 20 minute full scale show from a barge in the harbour, and I was looking forward to it since we live in a place where we could view it without having to go down there. And it was a still night, too.

However, this year for some unknown reason* the display is being held on Saturday instead of on the actual day. This means that instead of going to watch the public display, folks bought fireworks and let off their own. This is the result, complete with broad kiwi accents and plausible deniability:

People normally buy a few and let off their own, but this seems more than usual. Maybe it's because we're in a place to see it all and the sound funnels up to us, maybe I've just never noticed before. But when I had a dog I noticed fireworks - folks with pets tend to, eh?

Meanwhile, the YoT impulse-bought a bunch of those little spinning ones that you light and toss onto a flat surface, and I watched in amusement as the menfolk performed 'science experiments' with sellotape and string and the washing line. In a very responsible manner. Yup.

And, yesterday was the Melbourne Cup, which is also a big deal. I had two horses in the sweepstake at work, an English one and an Irish one. People at work laughed at me when I said my Irish horse looked very Irish, but he bloody well did. Sadly, he also ran slowly. As did the English horse, Royal Empire, who faded away like a bad metaphor. I believe the winner was a horse originally from England but trained in Australia. This is the culmination of 33 years of following the Melbourne Cup without every having picked a winner. And because I didn't win, my office will not be getting shouted cronuts for morning tea.

When did cronuts become a thing anyway?

* Taking bets on whether the businesses that like to sell alcohol to the patrons of big public events had anything to do with that.

Could do with some help here

Right. So you remember a couple of weeks ago, I posted about an old dude who ranted about women drivers in one of our papers? And I complained about it to the paper? Well, I've decided to publish what he wrote - all of it - and let you judge for yourself. Still not linking:

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The reason I've done this is because after a couple of weeks I'd had no response, so I contacted the paper again with a threat to escalate to the Press Council if they ignored me again. I also tweeted about it, which got retweeted a bit. Miraculously, one hour later I had my response.

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So essentially, "He didn't really mean it, where's your sense of humour?"

I called this in my original post - the one where I said "I'm sure he would claim hyperbole for effect. Tell us to get a sense of humour, see the funny side, claim it's obvious that he doesn't really mean it, and therefore we should get over it. That kind of dismissal is one of the privileges of being rich, old, white and male apparently - the ability to say really horrible things about a marginalised group and when people object, say it was only a joke and that we're too sensitive."

I'm not satisfied with this response from the Herald, and would like to escalate it anyway. But I'm not sure of the exact words to use to convey my disgust at this patronising brush-off of a response. As a woman, I'm both saddened that the Herald thinks it's ok to allow Jones to use a public platform to talk about women in this way, and resigned because the response is always the same. It's another of those 'pick your battles' things, because I don't really want to be fighting this fight yet again, but if I don't then this kind of bullshit will continue to be accepted as an OK attitude to take.

What should I do?