October 29, 2004

Addenda and Errata

Media Cow writes…

With regard to yesterday’s vigorous excoriation of local weblogs, we would like to clarify that we didn’t mean your weblog. Your weblog is great, ask anyone.

October 28, 2004

That's a Multinational Idea

David W Young writes...

While MediaCow and Neil Falloon have been struggling between them to turn New Zealand bloggers, the media and anybody else who can read against Dog Biting Men (personally I think they are weak for not listing the blogs they hate or publishing an actual photograph of Matt Nippert), I've been busy writing.

I don't just write earnest polemics on gay marriage. I also write earnest polemics about business. Wouldn't you love to have me at your next party?

That was a rhetorical question. And the business columns I write (for the Listener) are in fact more light-hearted, lightly-opinionated pieces than earnest polemics. Hopefully that will encourage some of you to click the link below.

My latest fortnightly column is titled Hating with impunity and asks whether multinational corporations are really the super-villains of our age. Please do read the column and keep me fed and watered.



Say Sorry Like You Mean It

Here at Dog Biting Men we’re not very nice about our competition.

I’m not talking about the faux rumble with Fighting Talk; Ben Thomas and Matt Nippert set up that self-indulgent shit-fight over a beer** while Mister Neil Falloon performed an unseemly act on Patrick Crewdsen in the bathroom. (Those Herald on Sunday folk and bathrooms…)

I mean our habit of being disrespectful to the earnest, pasty-faced white men who write almost every terrible weblog in New Zealand.

We’re sorry.

We’re sorry for giggling at the pompous prats with four readers a day who indignantly declare, “I have made the solemn decision to remove The New Zealand Herald from my list of links because I object to its biased coverage of...” Pfft.

It was thoughtless for us to suggest that the Herald might not care deeply about this carefully calculated snub, especially when planning it kept the blogger awake even after he had finished his nightly porno download.

We're sorry for suggesting nobody cares. Despite the fact many local weblogs receive absolutely no feedback, their authors should continue to believe no subject dies until they have had their say. Yes, the world is demanding to know whether you would vote for Kerry or Bush, and is aching to find out what you thought of the Orewa Speech. The world is just a bit shy about telling you. Kind of like you are with girls.

We apologise for the amusement we gain from weblog authors who recycle online news stories. The ones that provide a link, say, to a Dominion Post article about John Tamihere standing down as Minister, and then deliver incisive commentary like, "wow. A minister is standing down. This could be bad for Labour".

Dozens of New Zealand weblogs do this, on the left and right of politics. We apologise to each of them. We would never blow away the secret behind their success by revealing that Copy is CTRL X and Paste is CTRL V.

(An extra apology to the guys who not only regurgitate news, but weren’t bright enough to find it themselves in the first place. These ones link to the same story as everyone else and then say, “with thanks to Blogger So-and-So for tipping me off to the story”. Extra apologies because Mister Neil Falloon laughs extra loud at you.)

We are sorry for not joining in the orgiastic self-congratulation as local devotees celebrated the Worldwide Blog Community's expose of Dan Rather's faked documents. We foolishly thought that was similar to authors of Buffy fan-fiction celebrating the latest Booker Prize winner. We forgot it was a shared victory for the collective mind.

On a conciliatory note, we would like to acknowledge the other awesome uses to which this nerd hive-consciousness has been deployed in the past: exposing inaccurate Star Trek references and Lord of The Rings continuity errors. Wow.

[We realise the apology angle became tired about three paragraphs ago, but we’re nothing if not persistently irritating. So on we go...]

We apologise for thinking “fisking” is a ridiculous expression. (Mister Neil Falloon once tried fisking a Flipside Hottie but she slapped him in the face so hard he lost a tooth.) We’re sorry for critiquing the term “blogosphere”: we were wrong not to feel like cosmonauts in a weightless universe.

We will never laugh again at the fools who can’t spell shit. (We're being literal. We mean the people who type "shti" or "siht".) We will stop finding it funny that one person called the Labour government scantimonious.

And finally, we will stop mocking people who link to The Onion. You’re right, somebody who has managed to find your obscure and pointless weblog just might not yet have heard of the freakin
Onion.

There are some people we won’t apologise to.

These are the people who, despite our best attempts to mock, we actually read and enjoy. Perhaps they can write, pass commentary without sounding like a turd, or purposefully make us laugh. (Or maybe they just have lots of readers and we’re scared that if we pick on them they will never link to us again).

Because of our jealousy we hate them even more than we hate the failures. In no particular order (other than that the complete arseholes come utterly last), they are:

Deborah Hill Cone – by Deborah Hill Cone. She glows with pregnancy and writes with zest.

In for a Penny – by Simon Pound. Bastard has a good name, too. But a weak chin.

Cracker – by Damian Christie. But his story about laser eye surgery made our stomachs turn.

Aaron Bhatnagar – by Aaron Bhatnagar. He might not be loved by voters but we don't mind him.

November 9 - by A School Teacher. He writes about life. A weird life, but it's still life. And that's good.

Hard News – by Russell Brown. A small, obscure weblog with 20 readers. Deserves a bigger following.

Fighting Talk – by Matt Nippert, Patrick Crewdsen and their parents. Wankers, the lot of ‘em.

If other local writers could aim to produce a tad more originality, we would be hugely grateful (although it will make us spend more time sitting on our chairs and less time rolling on the floor doing belly laughs).

And if any of us at Dog Biting Men could write or attract more than two readers a day, we’d try to do something original with this site rather than self-indulgent punditry, childish playfighting and sarcastic apologies.

Sorry.

** Ben Thomas would never be seen dead in a pub with Matt Nippert. But the bit about the bathroom might well be true.



October 26, 2004

Nippert in the Bud

Mr Neil Falloon writes…

Matt Nippert, you are like
an itch that enjoys being scratched. Just as well, because you’re going to be scratched like a lame horse, from the race to survive in the blog jungle.

You think you’re gangsta, Nippert? Dre was coming straight outta Compton with an AK. You’re coming straight out of Grey Lynn with an AK 05 Festival Pass. You marvel at the
rolled up pants-leg stylings of Scribe and original Pt Chev gangster Russell "Simmons" Brown. Brown is no gangster - his leg is rolled up because his gout needs fresh air.

You have no understanding of history, Matt. You have lost touch with your roots, because they are buried under too much hair. You are not the biggest dog in the yard, Matt, you are just the shaggiest. You are not Dolf Datsun – you are the ugly one from The Have.

You say I’m not underground, and maybe it’s hard for you to understand how the first blogger to make the cover of Time Magazine can still be underground. It’s because I didn’t try and take alternative media to the masses – I brought the mainstream underground, like unreclaimed coastal land. I’m sorry if you missed that bus, Matt, but it wasn’t scheduled to stop outside Verona. And if you didn’t see me on the cover of Time, you might have to take another look. I’m in the background, on the left. No, the other left.

My demise “is an issue that needs to be seriously discussed”? My funeral won’t be anything like you describe – I know, because the last time I killed myself I went to the wake just to tell everyone it didn’t hurt as much as I expected. Then I wrote a book about it, and the world praised my confessional journalism, but you don’t see me boasting about it.

Like I’ve said, I was sick of you before I ever heard of you. You’re like a little Chihuahua, yapping at my legs and crapping in my yard. I’ve had it with your crap, Nippert, and I’m going to address the problem at its source. It’s time Patrick Crewdson stepped forward and cleaned up the mess his lap-dog has made. That’s the only scooping that will be happening at the Herald on Sunday any time soon.

I’ve got some fighting talk for you right here, Crewdson, so listen up – if you can tear yourself away from the Vodafone chatrooms long enough to stop pretending you are a 20-something female journalist pretending to be a teenage girl to get the big story, you low-life. Stick to the human interest stories, I hear Renee Kiriona has some good leads. Maybe it’s time someone interviewed Tawera Nikau again.

You work for a rag trying to trade on the good name Garth George made for the Herald over the years. Garth George is rolling around in his grave. Can you imagine what he would be thinking if he had lived during the time of the internet and found out what you were up to? The only thing missing from the Herald on Sunday is a topless page three model - but I’m sure that prostitute Nippert can be persuaded to do it for a jug of Double Brown or, more likely, just the chance to see his name in print again.

Kind regards - the kind where I see you in Hell

Neil Falloon


October 20, 2004

The Liberals are Wrong to Support the Civil Union Bill

David W Young writes…

I’m probably not particularly good at being gay. I don’t feel I belong to any special 'community’. I dislike identity politics as much as the next (generic) guy.

But because I am That Way Inclined, I do dwell on some issues more than my straight mates. I get hit pretty hard by stories about the homosexual panic defence or an honest account of someone living with HIV.

The old line, There, but for the grace of God go I, never quite disappears no matter how Middle Class Establishment I become.

And every now and then, my inner OUTrage burns me like a branding of a pink triangle. (On such occasions, like many people succumbing to identity-based arguments I fall easily into the trap of believing I have a monopoly on the moral high ground or sole ownership of self-identifying experience. For that, and my naturally pompous style, I apologise in advance).

Watching what passes for ‘debate’ over the Civil Union Bill has made me frustrated and angry. I’m not interested in debating the fundamentalists who promote eternal damnation – I doubt many will be reading this article. I’m more interested in talking to the social liberals who have bought the spin that this is a two-way fight between them and the fundamentalists.

Do you progressive thinkers believe you’re taking a brave stand by dissing Destiny Church and mocking Maxim? I’m sorry, but shaking your fists at the Baddies of the Moment doesn’t make you courageous. When your posturing is taken away, do you really believe in the coherence of your arguments?

Here's my point-of-view: The fundamentalists are right when they argue the legislation is deceitful. The Civil Union Bill is a cowardly half-measure. It will continue to prevent gay couples from adopting children or getting married. Those are the exact two rights that I want. I'd even say they are the only two rights that I want.

My partner and I want to marry. We want to raise a child. Sure, I thank you for fixing odds and ends of legislation that ‘discriminate’ against me in ways I never knew and never noticed. But the discrimination that keeps me awake at night – the discrimination that hurts – is the line in the sand that stops me and my partner from being allowed to raise a family. Why aren't you fighting for that?

There are no arguments for a civil union that do not apply equally to full marriage. Therefore, I believe that to endorse civil union and reject full marriage is to actively engage in the stigmatisation and discrimination of gay couples.

As American commentator Andrew Sullivan has written, opposing the extension of marriage rights “is an incoherent position — based more on sentiment than on reason, more on prejudice than principle. Liberals, of all people, should resist it.”

In New Zealand, social liberals line up on both sides of the political spectrum. Russell Brown and David Farrar ask you to send your money to the Civil Union Bill promotional department. It’s a slick operation. I’m sure they will win.

I believe Brown and Farrar both mean well. But their advocacy, if successful, will make full gay marriage that much more difficult to obtain any time soon. (You can picture the arguments: “We gave them civil unions back in 2004, and they’re already greedy for more – when will they shut up?”)

Will either of them join a fight for full marriage rights? And for that matter, do either of them plan to actually 'register' their relationships as civil unions? If not, for whom do they believe they are fighting?

The supporters of civil unions often say they support this as a "compromise" position. I agree it is a compromise... a compromise that provides straight couples with a whole new option, yet allows just a few-more-rights for gay households. Personally, that's not a compromise I can support.

Early on, I talked to Tim Barnett about the Civil Union Bill. I really wanted to be able to support it. He explained that this option was chosen over full marriage because it was more likely to be passed by parliament. It was a "pragmatic" decision. That was when my support evaporated. Imagine if anti-segregationists had opted for a “pragmatic” solution: black American Rosa Parks still could not sit in the "whites only" seats at the front of the bus, but whites would have a new choice – they could ignore the signs and sit with her.

Proponents of civil unions argue this Labour administration is as gay-friendly as New Zealand Governments will get. It was actually National that signed up to eliminating discrimination against gay couples; Jenny Shipley even looked at opening up marriage but then lost the leadership. "Gay-friendly" Labour has taken two parliamentary terms to come up with its "pragmatic compromise”.

I do agree that it would be a hard fight to convince the current lot of parliamentarians to support full marriage. But I think we should at least have had the debate. Support for civil unions has grown since campaigning started - is it not fair to assume the same would occur if we were battling for full marriage?

Labour has foisted this option upon New Zealand. I don't believe it was the result of a groundswell of popular support from any community. The cynic in me wonders if it is just a politically astute move to appear pragmatically middle-of-the-road and avoid a full debate on gay marriage which would split Labour’s ranks far more than this legislation would.
Ben Thomas gently suggests I might be being contrarian. I’m not – or at least, I’m not a comfortable contrarian. It doesn’t feel good to be yelling loudly for a position that most people reject. Feeling like a traitor to the team is not cosy. When I think about the bigots who will take heart from my arguments, my skin crawls. I really don't want to be trotted out as 'the gay guy who agrees with the conservatives'.

But, try as I might, I can’t embrace civil unions. Nor will I pretend to be grateful for the efforts of those that are fighting to give me just some of the rights that they currently enjoy.


--
In April the Listener published a short argument I wrote for gay marriage that was aimed to a broader audience than this piece. It contained a couple of the same arguments and is available as Uncivil Union here.

October 19, 2004

Corrections can be a Cow

MediaCow writes…

If you run a newspaper then having a Corrections and Clarifications column can be jolly helpful – it allows minor errors to be amended at little ‘cost’. You called the pensioner on page 8 May Viscount, and her son is upset because her name is Mavis Count? No problem: it can be easily fixed.

But sometimes the space can be used to tuck away massive u-turns that should really be given more attention. In today’s Herald, the Corrections & Clarifications (not available online) contains several errors that should have been signalled in the columns or news space where the errors were made.

Let’s focus for now on just one entry:

New Zealand’s ranking in the World Economic Forum growth competitiveness index fell from 14th place last year to 18th this year. It did not rise five places as reported in the Business Herald on Friday. And New Zealand did not rise one place to 17th in the business competitiveness index, but was unchanged at 18th place.

In other words: “We mucked up the entire story”.

The Herald used a Reuters article which was correct, but at some stage incorrect local information was added.

Other papers, such as the NBR, got the news right – New Zealand had dropped in both ‘growth competitiveness’ and ‘business competitiveness’. On the positive side of the ledger, we were still in the top 20.

The correction was printed yesterday, and the online version quietly amended. But the clever fellow who updated the website story forgot to change the headline (“NZ gains, but Finland is the competitive winner”), and obviously didn’t realise that the Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive’s comments no longer make any sense (he thought New Zealand's new positioning was positive).

It’s good to be upfront about errors and it is great the Herald has a Corrections and Clarifications column. That is the right place for run-of-the-mill mistakes.

But when the error is a biggun, this not-for-the-website column can give the impression that its authors are trying to slip one past their readers.

Newspapers don’t need to indulge in ghastly ‘mea culpa’ articles every two days, but if they did give significant treatment to significant balls-ups, they would provide greater reason for reporters to avoid them in the first place.

October 15, 2004

A Man In Full

Mr Neil Falloon writes…

I am having a hard time deciding which party to go to on Hubbard's Winning Day, because I have standing invites from both Diana Hubbard and the inner circle of Citizens and Ratepayers Now. The decision is made for me when I receive an urgent phone message from intrepid NBR journalist Coran Lill.

Falloon, I’m stuck in the oak tree beside the Hubbard house. There’s nothing happening here – Mrs Hubbard was dancing around with the Bible earlier, but she’s just sent everybody home because it’s past Mr Hubbard's bedtime. Here’s the problem: I’m stuck in the tree – I’m too short to get down, and I’m too precious to the NBR to jump. I can’t track down Jock. Can you check out the bar, and if he’s there, send him along with his long pole?”

Jock Andersen, if you’re reading this, consider the message passed on.

Suddenly I have plans. The last time I visited our new Mayoress, she had a noticeable shake, like an electric shock running through her frame. Then her right arm shuddered and headed for the ceiling. It was closely followed by the left, reaching to the heavens in a shuddering fit of biblical emotion while her devoted voice hit the rafters. Much like her behaviour in Church.

Like Dennis Connor, Neil Falloon is always on the winners’ stage. I make a call to Ben Thomas, and send him to cover the C&R party...


After The Laughter

Ben Thomas writes...

I’m drenched when I arrive at the Citizens and Ratepayers Now ticket’s somewhat optimistically titled 'Victory Party' at the Playhouse tavern on Queen Street. It’s fitting: a substitute English pub with hunting lodge-styled wooden tables and chairs. And no young people causing havoc nearby – incumbent Mayor John Banks, a C&R ally, has seen to that over the last three years. The crowd is old, traditional. By their looks, some are kept alive solely by the oxygen of political power, a power the faction has wielded in Auckland local governemnt for almost 70 years without interruption.

It is 1 pm, and with 95% of votes counted, the scrutineers scurry in clutching the spreadsheets of vote counts for the expectant crowd.

As the results are read out, it becomes clear all is not well. The knockout blow comes early: Banks has been thumped by cereal maker Dick Hubbard by a margin of 12,000. The mood in the Playhouse is pulled up off the canvas momentarily as the Raffills dynasty is reconfirmed in Mt Roskill. That’s the end of the comeback. The “bellweather” ward Eden-Albert is a whitewash for the left. Then reeling; there are sick sounds and groans, and finally, as the results keep coming, silence.

Citizens and Ratepayers Now, an amalgam of ACT- and National-aligned local body activists, has been worse than decimated. Going from a majority (13 councillors out of twenty) to merely seven, it has ceded control to City Vision, the Labour and Alliance ticket. The community boards offer no solace – even Aaron Bhatnagar, the closest thing to a community board rock star, has been dumped from Hobson in favour of the also-right, but anti-motorway Action Hobson.

National Party MP Maurice Williamson is performing the autopsy like a skilled surgeon. And a practiced one – it’s 2002 all over again inside the Playhouse as he holds forth on the “swing to the left, away from the right – it’s a swing whose time had come.”

The major problem here was that C&R failed to distinguish themselves sufficiently from Banks. “People were telling our team in Eden-Albert, ‘we’re not going to vote for anyone who is on Banks’ ticket’, and there was no way to get across that we were different from Banks.”

Unsurprisingly, perhaps. Williams, who read out the results, is actually Banks’ scrutineer today. Nick Albrecht, the C&R campaign manager, works in Williamson’s electorate office.

Albrecht looks shattered, and Williamson is trying to console him.

“Auckland University did a study, and they found that a great candidate will be worth 500 votes, and a great campaign might be worth another 500, but any loss by more than 1,000 was unavoidable.” Probably not the best advice where community board routs may attract 5000 votes in total. Another well-wisher comes up to Albrecht.

“But did you enjoy it? I mean, do you think it’s something you’d do again?”

Silence, as the question sinks in.

I tell every candidate I meet that I have voted for them, no matter from which ward or region they hail. My story is that I have moved several times since the general election and have failed to update my details on the electoral role. Which is true. So, I had to cast a special vote, and the address I nominated was in exactly the part of the city they happened to be standing in. Which is not true.

In fact, like almost 52% of eligible voters, I didn’t cast a ballot at all. It was not a cry in the wilderness against the party system that now dominates local body politics. I simply couldn’t get out of work long enough to get to the registrar of electors and cast a special vote. Still, as the saying goes, if you didn’t vote, you can’t complain. And it feels as if it would be a terrible social faux pas not to join in the complaining around me. Somehow churlish. So I lie.

One unsuccessful candidate in the Eden-Albert ward is lamenting the liberal bias of the media.

“It’s funny how Cathy Casey managed to get in Sideswipe (in the Herald) twice in the last week of campaigning, with her car being stolen”, his emphasis falls just short of sarcasm “and then returned the next day. You know, her husband is Matt McCarten, and he knows a little bit about campaigning.”

General murmurs of agreement.

“I mean, even if she didn’t know about it, it could have been a City Vision supporter who did it.”

Time to join in, I suppose: “Hell, even if the person who took the car didn’t know who it belonged to, they would have been a City Vision voter.”

Laughter.

Jamie Lee, an 18 year old Young National, was successful in his election as an independent to Council in Howick. After the People’s Choice (C&R for community boards in some areas) recognised his zeal, they offered him a clear run for the Community Board on their ticket. He refused. After between three and six months of door-knocking, he has scraped in. He’s elated, on the other end of the phone with various Young Nats at the C&R wake. Jubilant, and in their early twenties, they tell him they will take him into town and get him drunk.

Local body politics has become little more than a theatre of conflict for the national game, like the third world during the Cold War, in Auckland at least. As soon as the results are digested, they are seen not as a tragedy in their own terms, but as portents for the 2005 general election.

“It was raining like this in 2002,” one ACT supporter says, grimly pointing to the Aotea Square drizzle.

The day before, a One Network News poll showed public support for the National Party continuing to fall, and there is a general recognition that Williamson’s “swing” has been going strong for around five years now, and shows no signs of abating.

I stand around picking at the platters of snacks – spring rolls, chicken nibbles, potato wedges – laid out in anticipation of celebration. C&R has paid for food but no alcohol. Very few are drinking at all, even for solace. Every great civilisation’s decline is heralded by a slide into decadence except, apparently, Citizens and Ratepayers Now.

The crowd of supporters thins as it shuffles towards the doors, a greying throng that dissolves into the overcast outdoors. They are somber, stoic, until the end.

October 11, 2004

I need some knee-pads

David W Young writes...

This week the Save David W Young From Being Fired campaign asks you to click this link. It will take you to my fortnightly column in the Listener. I am still not convinced that anybody reads it voluntarily, so I get on my knees every two weeks and beg. This week’s column is all about dismissal.

A bunch of writers who don't need knee-pads to make people read their columns are the folk who write for the New York Press. It's my favourite newspaper. Not just because I’m one of those shallow Big Apple worshiping bores who thinks the city is magical, but because I love America’s 'alternative' street-press city newspapers, and the New York Press is one of the best examples I've found from the genre.


This is from a recent Crime News column:

...Another one of those self-centred, inconsiderate schizophrenics had to go and make a hash of everyone's pleasant lunch by killing himself.

Stanley Goldsmith was a 69-year-old bike messenger who'd been working for the same law firm for the past 14 years. On Tuesday morning, he ascended the exposed staircase to the 48th floor and made his leap, landing 10 stories below, near the firm's lobby. He left no note, so his motivations remain unclear. It's perfectly reasonable, however, that he woke up that morning with the cold realization that he was a 69-year-old law firm bike messenger.

The New York Press publishes annual lists of the 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers (here’s 2004’s version) and is currently carrying out a “search for America's worst campaign journalist” called Wimblehack. It’s not all negativity, though: the property columns are fascinating, the current issue has an enlightening story about the world Rock Scissor Paper tournament, there's usually at least a few well-written and interesting features or profiles, and the columns are outstanding.

The Press recently received a letter from (Rupert Murdoch-owned) New York Post’s lawyers pointing out the paper’s new-look logo was similar to the Post’s. The Press editor responded: Do they honestly believe that anyone would confuse us for them?

The New York Press backed down and changed its logo. It also went a step further and changed ‘Page Two’ to the “F*** You Rupert Page”.


October 08, 2004

Who put that there?

Meanwhile, a journalist added a strange paragraph - without any context or explanation - to the bottom of a story. Ninety-nine percent of readers couldn't work out why the paragraph was there, or what the implication was supposed to be. The remaining four readers just marvelled at the oddness of such behaviour, and ended up having a bit of a giggle about it.

October 07, 2004

An Open Letter To Matt Nippert - Have A Read, And Mullet Over

Mr Neil Falloon writes…

Matt Nippert is the worst writer of his generation.

I said it, Nippert. Are you happy now? You’ve needled, you’ve prodded. You’ve called my reportage a “joke”. You’ve said that as a “serious journalist” I don’t exist. Well now you’ve got my attention, and I’m tired of you already.

You want to be the biggest dog in the yard? What makes you think you are bigger than the NBR? That’s a massive dog, Matt – it would be a three storey high dog. Do you believe in three storey high dogs? Of course you don’t, and I don’t either. I’m in the reality game, and I’m calling you out.

You write about how Russell Brown blogs, and you blog, and David Cohen doesn’t blog like you’re the toll-collector on the information superhighway. But guess what, Nippert? I am blogging. Al Gore may have invented the internet, but Neil Falloon made it mean something.

You like to be the subversive face of the mainstream media, but that’s like being the dangerous one in a boy band. All you need is a goatee, you ho. You’ve grown puffed up and arrogant on the platitudes of your mainstream peers. You think the whole world is just one big air guitar competition.

You’re not underground. You run around with your Listener buddies, talking about “alternative media” this, and “Critlient doesn’t suck goatballs” that. I’ve got news for you Matt. That Qantas Media Award doesn’t mean you’ve busted the alternative media above ground. It means you’re a sell-out. The underground media doesn’t respect you. When I get together with Ian Wishart, Jock Anderson, and Jim Hopkins, we laugh at “Matt Nippert and his little Qantas”. When we can even remember your name, that is. Usually it’s one of Hopkins’ humorously derived epithets instead. Like “Matt Dippert” or “Crappin Pert”.

Sometimes we use your other names, your pathetic childish pseudonyms “Lyndon Hood”, “Tom Goulter” and “Max Johns”. Take some responsibility.

You take snide swipes at Cohen like you’re Ana Samways with a speech impediment. You say his love of books, in this html age, is “quaint”. Maybe you should follow David’s lead and go read a little something called “Know Your Role Matt Nippert, You Phoney”. Haven’t seen it? That’s okay, because 15,000 copies are being hand delivered to Auckland homes overnight. And there’s a rumour that photocopies of Metro’s "Drivel Corner" have been sent out all around Howick, although Nicola Legat says she hasn’t given permission. I don’t know anything about it, Matt, I was with John Banks the whole time. But maybe you want to think twice next time before crossing people with powerful friends.

You think you are a hardman, a rock star. You run your mouth about how you want to write for the “serious pages”, like you have gravity. You are not hard, Matt. You are not rock. I am hard. Even as I type this, I am harder by the second. Greg Dixon is hard. After the ASPAs, while Russell Brown was holding your hair back as you vomited into the Shakespeare’s toilets, Greg Dixon was threatening to smash my head in for recognizing him from his picture in the Herald. That’s a man who hasn’t sold out. He told me how he cuts himself every night to purge APN Holdings from his veins, and falls asleep to his own cries of anguish. When was the last time you cut yourself, Nippert, you wannabe? When you were clipping out Brown’s latest mention of you in his Listener column? You will not die before you are thirty. You are no Greg Dixon.

You think because I am not involved in your love triangle with Brown and Cohen that I don’t exist? That’s the best our mainstream journalists could come up with? Pretending I’m not real? Perhaps, when you are sipping your mocha selloutte and playing air guitar to a Martin Winch record in Starbucks, you should watch your back.

Like a Holocaust denier, you cannot continue the charade for long. The tide of history will wash over you like the waves over King Cnut. I know your type, Nippert, and you are just another Cnut from the Hutt Valley.

Yours sincerely

Neil Falloon


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