The best of The Spinoff this week

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website.

Alex Braae: Who wore it stupider? Comparing Hosking and Hawkesby on cycling

“There’s a rumour about Newstalk ZB’s ratings that perhaps explains a lot about their hosts’ opinions. The station first really boomed in the early 90s, coinciding with the mass importation of Japanese cars. A lot of these cars had radios that only reached 90FM on the dial. And both Newstalk ZB and Mai FM, which in Auckland both sit below 90FM, have become long-term powerhouses as a result, or so the theory goes.

Whether or not it’s true, it would appear the morning hosts on ZB believe with every fibre of their being that the only people they ever talk to are car drivers. Mike Hosking went so far as to describe bike-promoting minister Julie Anne Genter as ‘highly highly unusual’ for daring to hold such views. ‘She is not like us, thank the good Lord,’ he declared.”

Emily Writes: Santa is real, and she’s pissed off

“A debate has erupted over the gender of Santa. ‘Can Santa be a woman?’ ask many, many men who have never bought a Christmas present in their lives. Or if they have it was bought at a petrol station on their way home from work on December 24th because what woman doesn’t want some paua dolphin tourist earrings chucked inside a pie bag with a note that says ‘mum’ on it?

These men think a man from the North Pole is racing around the world delivering presents – somehow oblivious to their wives, girlfriends, and mothers sweating and suffering for hours at night decorating, baking, and wrapping the presents they’ve painstakingly bought all year.

You know what all the women doing all the emotional labour at Christmas think about you insisting Santa is a man? Fucking nothing – they’re too busy searching TradeMe for the cheapest second-hand Paw Patrol set that looks new but isn’t new because a new one costs a week’s wages to think about why you’re spending so much energy talking about this when you could be PUTTING TOGETHER THE GOD DAMN BIKE Mum ordered online.”

The 2018 Wellington Pride Parade ( Photo: RNZ/ Reesh Lyon)

An Open Letter: Anti-uniformed police protest spreads to Wellington Pride Parade

“The NZ Police had the opportunity to graciously accept a compromise borne out of community consultation, acknowledging the need to do better to reduce the violence against our Māori and takatāpui whānau. Ideally, the Police would engage sincerely with our community to heal grievances both recent and historical. It was the Police’s repressive violence against queer people, after all, which motivated queer people to take to the streets and show our pride in the first place.

Instead, the Diversity Liaison Officer Tracy Phillips’ decision to withdraw the NZ Police shows that it only wants to be included for PR purposes. Withdrawing at the first sign of constructive criticism does not inspire hope that the Police actually wants to build a real relationship with the queer community.”

Holy Bagge: Inside Arbonne, the multi level marketing scheme taking over your Facebook feed

“Thinking it all sounds far too good to be true, I look up Arbonne online when I get home.

Its website is teeming with dead-eyed stock image smiles and success stories of the few who’ve reached the top levels in the business.

I have to scroll past all of this to get to the disclaimer at the bottom of the page saying the testimonials are for ‘illustrative purposes’ and that Arbonne makes no guarantees regarding income.

What concerns me more is discovering a lawsuit accusing Arbonne of being a pyramid scheme.”

Don Rowe: How whakapapa led to one doctor losing her stomach and gaining her life

“Dr Karyn Paringatai has lived eight years without her stomach. After the organ was completely removed in 2010, Paringatai’s oesophagus was sewn to her small intestine, creating an alternate chamber in which to digest food. Since the operation, at least 20 of her whānau have done the same: more stomachs than you could count on your fingers, cut free from the body, preempting biological chance. With an 80% chance of cancer, it’s the common sense thing to do.”

Kylie Parry: ‘The only transgender agenda is to live a normal life and feel safe’

“As a parent of two transgender children I try really hard not to read the opinions of people who have issues with transgender youth (and with transgender adults).  I couldn’t avoid the latest opinion piece in the NZ Herald, though. It’s amazing and a bit disheartening how much misinformation is around. So I thought I could help by explaining a few things that we’ve learnt over the past few years.”

Alex Casey: Clementine Ford event overwhelmed with crowd of four protestors

“Last night in the Auckland suburb of Freeman’s Bay, feminist commentator Clementine Ford’s speaking event was met with a small group of angry protesters. With protest plans laid on both this Facebook page and this men’s rights website, the Boys Will Be Boys author told On the Rag that she wasn’t too concerned for her safety ahead of her talk. ‘They’ve organised security guards and some police … I told them they don’t need to bother, nobody is going to show up and if they do it will be one man with a sandwich board.’

Her estimations weren’t entirely far off, with the event last night attracting a crowd of four protesters, including one man in high vis touting a megaphone.”

The Spinoff: Christmas giving: what local charities really want you to donate

Right now charities and community groups are being flooded with gifts, food and goods from well-meaning Samaritans looking to share a bit of Chrimbo goodwill. But the most valuable thing you can give to charity, it turns out, is a little bit of thought. Seemingly commonsense donations can often have the opposite effect, taking up valuable resources from already stretched organisations. We asked the people on the ground what they really need this Christmas.

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