I was over at Kiwiblog for the first time today, looking to see what stokes the fire of Kiwis these days, or at least the political-minded among us. I tend to shy away from political discussion because I find it so regressive and banal, personal principles bastardized in order to join and support a team (“right”, “left”, “National”, “Labour” etc), with most energy spent wildly insulting anything that is produced by the opposition “team”, trading ad hominem attacks, indulging in et tu quoque festivals, and arguing generalities when specifics are what matter. Case in point: Tony Ryall cancels the health conference; you’d think most people would be interested in knowing what happens in these conferences, how successful they are, and how vital they are for the improvement of the health industry before attempting to even have an opinion on it – I certainly don’t, because no-one seems particulary interested in giving me any information about the situation. But no, instead we have the usual totally made-up assumptions to shore up the talking points for your side. From the Your Say link:
“Yes Tony Ryall did the right thing in cancelling the conference. After what has been going on in our hospitals it is very obvious that the previous two conferences in the past five years have achieved very little.” (Lesley, North Shore)
Quick question: how the hell do you know, Lesley?
“This is just posturing and won’t achieve anything of significance. Does the Minister have nothing better to do?” Aqua (Waitoa)
Quick question #2: how the hell do you know, Aqua?
(I can see this becoming my fall back question when reading any political blog in New Zealand. It’ll save me valuable thinking time that I can spend in trying to figure out why Liverpool can’t stop drawing games at the moment.)
This post was spurred by my stumble across to Not PC, a right-wing blog with nothing of interest whatsoever, seeing as it completely toes the line of what you’d assume a blowhard right-winger would think about everything in the first place. The left gets to experience dodgy editing, staged “confrontations” and silly animation skits from Michael Moore when being spoon-fed platitudes they already hold dear. On Not PC, they get endless links to people saying the exact same things and some truly terrible right-wing humor (not their strength; just as you wouldn’t bother asking a left-winger to mind your ranch, you’re never going to specifically ask for a conservative stand-up comic.)
Thankfully, Kiwiblog appears to be a little more balanced, a little more nuanced, even if the comments section I happened to scan involved a tete-a-tete about global warming, both sides simply parroting the figures of pre-approved sources, followed by someone demanding to know why there are gaps in the fossil record if evolution really exists, and how we can be descended from apes if they are still around with us today. (!)