miscellaneous

Fake news

Staying with Finland, one of the things that inspired the previous post was the news that Finland is planning to move to a four day, six hour work week.

If you follow the news in some way or form, you’ll have probably seen i. This article has been published in major media outlets such as The Guardian and The Independent, not to mention places like Stuff.

The thing is that this story is false. It’s not part of Finnish policy, and the Finnish government has said that there are no plans for such a work week.

How did this story come into existence?

I’ll state the tldr version, but for a full explanation by a proper Finnish outlet, read the article I linked above.

Back in August 2019, would be PM Sanna Marin suggested that a four day six hour work week could raise productivity, but also stated that this was not government policy.

Fast forward to January 2020, and Marin is now PM of Finland. An Austrian and then a Belgian news outlet pick up on the story, and they frame it as if it’s a) government policy, and b) a new initiative that’s only come about since Marin became PM.

Domino effect, and now the whole world thinks that Finland is going to switch to a four day six hour work week.

While there aren’t really any adverse effects from the spread of this story, it’s still scary – if fake news like this can spread so quickly, what would happen if a more sinister story spread like this one?

Pretending to care

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker was always going to be controversial. But now it’s controversial because of something that really shouldn’t be controversial – gay people’s existence.

Full disclosure – I have not yet been able to see The Rise Of Skywalker so please don’t spoil it in the comments for the two of you that might actually comment.

Anyway, The Rise Of Skywalker features a scene where two minor characters of the gender kiss. From what I can tell from twitter, it’s a moment that’s very easy to miss.

Which isn’t really good enough. However, regardless of being not enough, any LGBT representation is still a step in the right direction. So I would have been happy with Disney here had that scene not been removed for showings in Singapore and Dubai.

That tells you everything you need to know. Disney will act like they care about and support the LGBT community – unless it means they miss out homophobes’ money. This is a company that made 19 billion dollars in 2019’s fourth quarter. They can afford to have the smallest amount of a spine.

I’ll leave you on this tweet that perfectly sums up the situation:

Reprimanded for being a good samaritan

Zuhaib Bangash runs a kebab shop in Auckland and was feeding the homeless out of his own pocket. However, he was told to stop by the Glen Eden Business Association.

“They said they were not happy with what I was doing. They said all the homeless will come here and other businesses will go down,” Bangash said.

{…}

This was the first time he’s officially opened his shop to feed the homeless, but he said he’s never turned anyone away who’s asked for food since he opened two years ago.

“They are not bad people, I know they have a bad reputation, but they just want to eat. They need food, I have food – this is $600 from my own pocket every week.

“Why am I being told to stop? I know they leave here very happy.”

Bangash said he chose Sunday evenings because Glenmall is usually quiet – most shops are closed, and there are very few people in the town centre.

The man is literally doing a public service for society’s most disadvantaged members. He’s also making sure it’s at the most convenient time for everyone.

Yet the association’s only concern is for the businesses – and ok, it is the Business Association – but at the same time, it’s saddening how all the concern is for those with jobs, not those on the street. And again, Zuhaib was doing it at the most convenient time for the nearby businesses, so the complaint doesn’t stack up.

The attitude of the Business Association is a disappointing reflection of societies view of the homeless – their much greater needs come after the needs of those who have homes, and have money.

Let Zuhaib continue, and give him a damn medal.

Sadly trivial

Wellington City Councilor Nicola Young has called for the city to start flying Wellington’s flag, which hasn’t been in regular use since the 90s.

This was a new learning experience for me – as a Wellingtonian, I had no idea we had a flag. But I gotta say, the flag looks awesome.

Photo taken from the stuff article

There’s a dolphin and a boat and more flags in the flag!!!!! This quite possibly one of the coolest flags I’ve seen. How many have a dolphin? The yellow and black both look great as well.

It has been raised that this flag does represent colonialism, but as councilor Young said, colonialism is part of Wellington’s history. Also, it doesn’t need to represent anything if we don’t want it to – in the end, it’s just a piece of cloth.

But however cool this flag is, it is, in the end, a trivial matter, and not something worth spending money on. Wellington does have better things to use it’s rates on. But god damn I wish that wasn’t the case, because this flag rocks.

(Also apologies – I know this is a few days old. I’ve had exams recently, so my next few posts will be me trying to catch up with the events of the past few days)

Priorities 

Wellington man Danny Tahau Jobe has started a petition to include the Maori name of New Zealand, Aotearoa, in NZ’s official name.

As of this morning, the petition was close to 3250 signatures. ‘

What’s interesting is that the petition is not calling for an immediate name change, rather, it’s calling for a referendum on the issue.

But referendums are expensive. The flag one showed us how much money can be wasted on something fairly trivial. Referendums are also coming up in the next few years on voluntary euthanasia and cannabis legalization, there’s probably a chance that voters could suffer from referendum fatigue.

Yet, while it may be trivial, there would be an outcry if parliament were to decide without a referendum.

Another thing of note is that we already use Aotearoa New Zealand as our name fairly frequently, as stuff explains in the aforementioned article:

“Official documents of national identity, birth & citizenship certificates, passports and money-notes have Aotearoa and New Zealand together as the names of the country. Only ‘New Zealand’ has official status.

So the main result of a name change would be international recognition.

While changing the name to Aotearoa-New Zealand is something I would mildly support, it still feels like something fairly minor that should be fairly low down the list of things to do for government. Like an NZ republic or a flag change.

And should the government consider it? Well, it is, in the end, it is something that everyone should weigh in on in a referendum, despite how annoyingly trivial it is, and how much a referendum would cost.

My view? Not really a “good” solution here.

 

Where’s the positive media?

On Saturday, it was announced by Conservation minster Eugenie Sage and Energy minister Megan Woods that they had denied an application to mine on conservation land. 

This is a positive for the government, as they are following up on their promises to restrict mining in favor of conservation.

Ok. What’s the big deal?

Well, I didn’t even know this happened until No Right Turn blogged about it. 

The usual sites that I go to to find out what is happening in NZ politics, Stuff, the NZ Herald, and Newshub, all had no reports on this.

Look, that is something that should change.

Reporting only negative media about the government will get them more clicks, but it is important to report both the good and the bad on the government.

Otherwise, they risk not telling the whole story and seeing trust drop in them.

I hope the media will change their ways on this.

Guilty unless proven innocent

Morgan Freeman is the latest Hollywood star to be hit with sexual misconduct claims.

Now, the Screen Actors Guild is apparently considering revoking the lifetime achievement award it gave Freeman.

Look, that’s not ok.

Nothing has been yet proven. 

This isn’t the way the justice system works.

It is supposed to be innocent unless proven guilty, but I feel like all of a sudden, the media, the public, and almost everyone have adopted a guilty unless proven innocent approach when it comes to sexual misconduct.

Like sure, if Morgan Freeman has ended up sexually harassing women, then that award should be absolutely be taken away from him.

But if that’s the case, you do that after the trial and the guilty verdict, not before.

Sexual abuse is no doubt a terrible thing to experience and those who do that should be punished.

But we need to make sure the perpetrator actually did the crime before enacting punishment.

It works that way with every other crime in the book, sexual misconduct shouldn’t be any different.

Men can face sexism

I came across this tweet on twitter the other day:

For those who don’t know, wahine means woman in Maori.

Imagine if the roles were flipped in this tweet.

Imagine the outrage of someone saying that women could not have an intelligent discussion. Imagine the outrage of someone saying that women just had shouty egos.

That’s what is pretty much happening here.

As a man, this really makes me mad.

It should not be deemed acceptable to be sexist to men.

And don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for equality between men and women.

But the fact that women have been oppressed should not give them the right to be mean to men.

Filler

Breaking News!

I have had nothing to blog about for the past couple days.

So, naturally, I’m going to bullshit my way past 100 words in this post that will say absolutely nothing.

Yes, I’m that desperate for something to blog about. There seriously hasn’t been anything worth blogging about for the past few days.

Hopefully there will be something interesting in the budget tomorrow.

Here’s some more words to fill up this post.

73 words, we are getting near the 100 word mark!

I love blogging, but sometimes it just feels like there’s nothing I can say when I’m desperate to blog about literally anything.

Yay, I’m over 100 words now! That means I can stop typing and still feel good about myself because I blogged today!

You’re welcome 🙂

 

Israel Folau and free speech

Australian rugby star Israel Folau was controversial again yesterday, sharing a homophobic video on twitter.  

This comes about a month after Folau stirred the pot of controversy by stating that all gays are going to “HELL.”

Ugh.

What do you do in this scenario?

On one hand, Israel Folau has his right to free speech. But he’s also an extremely influential person, and teaching homophobia is not something society needs.

So you could say that he’s a criminal with hate speech. But where do you draw the line? What constitutes hate speech?

It’s an extremely murky situation.

If anyone has an idea of what the right course of action here is, let me know. Because I certainly don’t.

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