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MediaDecember 9, 2018

The best of The Spinoff this week

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

Madeleine Chapman: My beef-only week living as Jordan Peterson

“My first meal of plain mince with a dash of salt tastes surprisingly good. While I eat, I read the first chapter/rule of Peterson’s: Stand up straight with your shoulders back. I read about lobsters and the natural dominant hierarchy within the species. Male lobsters fight each other and the winner grows in dominance while the loser shrinks. The dominant male lobsters get all the females to mate with them while the losers get none.

This is how lobster society works and this is how human society works, says Peterson. Peterson’s fans affectionately refer to themselves as lobsters and him as the “Lobster King”. Keep in mind that lobsters technically do not have brains.”

Scott Hamilton: Three myths about North Sentinel Island

“The recent death of John Chau has made North Sentinel Island famous. Journalists and commentators around the world have been busy explaining that the island is part of the Andamans archipelago, that its inhabitants are hostile to all interlopers, and that the Indian government, which has administered the Andamans since the British departed in 1947, has forbidden all contact with them.

But there are three myths about the North Sentinelese that have been regurgitated, in article after article. Here in the South Pacific, we’re in a good position to lance these myths. After all, the same sort of misconceptions were once aimed at the indigenous peoples of our region. Contemporary Pacific scholars can help us see the North Sentinelese in a clearer light.”

North Sentinel Island (Photo: DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)

Sophie Gerrets: ‘I shouldn’t have to fear the people I’m there to help’: The violent reality of working in healthcare

“I shouldn’t have to go to work fearing the people I’m there to help. It’s a near daily occurrence for someone to complain to me, to lose the plot, to yell, to say rude things, to attempt to physically hit, swing or spit at me. Their contact rate is terrible because I’m well practiced at dodging. Another norm is sexual violence. It’s unofficially tolerated in a hospital for sultry comments and sneaky hands to be laughed off or gently moved away. That doesn’t mean it’s okay. I can’t tell a patient to fuck off. I might if it happened on the bus to work, but once I’m in scrubs I lose that power.”

Madeleine Chapman: Why does Rotorua hate Mike Hosking?

“At 5:59am every weekday morning, as Kate Hawkesby is saying her goodbyes and Mike Hosking prepares to start his popular breakfast radio show, the city of Rotorua changes the channel. The ratings monster of Mike Hosking Breakfast – ranked in the top three, often number one, in every other centre around the country – ranks a dismal 8th in Rotorua.

That’s the injury. The insult to that injury is the revelation that Newstalk ZB – including his wife Hawkesby – ranked number two in the midnight-to-6am time slot. It’s just Mike they don’t like.”

Don Rowe: Why Māori were picked for the world’s most popular strategy game

“Gathering Storm focuses on new ecological and political systems reflective of our times, with climate change and natural disasters posing true civilisational threats. And while an official composite Polynesian civilisation existed in Civilization V, developers said this time around they want to focus on a specific race – thus they chose Kupe and the Māori because of their ecological bent. “They have a leader agenda that’s based on the Māori word kaitiakitanga, which means ‘guardianship’ itself,” senior producer Dennis Shirk said.

‘They actually want to try to progress with the game without chopping down any trees or damage the rainforest for them. We don’t take that option away from players completely, but we give them incentives to leave nature as it is.’”

Sarah Forster: In which Amazon goes to war with New Zealand bookstores

“It all comes down to price and the cheapest offer. The bottom line is that bookshops can’t compete with Book Depository. Of course they bloody can’t. As any economics graduate can tell you, one of the biggest reasons that some shops can offer products at lower prices is, quite simply, economy of scale. If Book Depository pre-orders 20,000 copies of Past Tense, by Lee Child, and Wardini Books in Havelock North pre-orders 30 copies, it doesn’t take rocket science to work out why one can afford to sell it at $24 and the other $38.

This also hurts publishers.”

Alex Casey: Never forget that a death metal band played on The Erin Simpson Show

“Erin Simpson is playing air guitar beneath guttural groans. A kid is doing enthusiastic devil horns. A death metal band is playing against a purple sequin background. It was 4.30 in the afternoon, 2010, when TV2 aired one of greatest episodes of kids television this country has ever seen. Erin – dressed in low-slung baggy jeans and various coloured hair extensions – punches the air, slightly offbeat with the closing chord. ‘How about that, eh?’ she asks nobody.”

Jay Hall: ‘Black Pete is a symbol of slavery, oppression, racism and ignorance’

“In November 2016, I was out in Birkenhead where I was living at the time when a vintage car pulled up beside me. I watched as three or four white people hopped out of the car with their faces painted black, huge red lips plastered on their faces and big curly black wigs on their heads. At first, I had to do a double take. Surely, nobody thinks this is an okay thing to do in 2016? They looked right back at me as if nothing was wrong.”

Julie Hill: ‘They’re about to destroy nearly 35 years of gay progress with the police’

“As a member of the Auckland Pride organisation, Kerapa said she is angry that the decision to disallow police was made without proper consultation with the base. ‘They didn’t even consult with the members, so I feel that my membership has been totally belittled and it means nothing.’

She said she felt that the members who drove the campaign to prevent police from wearing uniforms had in effect co-opted their experiences without involving them in the dialogue. “A lot of the older Māori trans had no idea whatsoever that the meeting was on,” she said.

She said she was unimpressed by the protest approach by activists associated with the prison abolitionist organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa.”

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