“The blogs dont get to vote in the labour party, so we dont pay much consideration to it”
– Andrew Little
“Blogs,who cares about blogs” – Clayton Cosgrove
“I don’t read blogs” they are “nonsense” – David Shearer
It’s the end of the year and that time to start grudges that will survive the holiday break as the blogosphere begins jockeying for attention leading into the 2014 election.
Sex scandales, Race Relations Commissioner call outs, rape culture critiques, racist cartoon reviews, mass surveillance protests, replacing party leaders, Aaron Gilmore hit jobs and advertiser boycotts all seized the news agenda this year through the blogs and managed to generate agenda setting debate while TV sunk to Seven Sharp levels of public broadcasting.
The feuding & infighting that has marred the left blogosphere this year makes a David Hay-Green Party reconciliation more likely than an online burying of hatchets. With Slater in court trying to obtain legal protections, blogging as a self-policing community is still coming to terms with its influence and responsibilities.
TDB salutes the spectrum of opinion makers and shapers the NZ Blogosphere has presented us with this year.
Without further ado, here are this years TDB Blogger Alignment Awards 2013, with much referencing to Wiki for the Dungeons & Dragons alignment descriptions.
Lawful Good Blogger 2013 – Marama Davidson
Lawful Good is known as the “Saintly” or “Crusader” alignment. A Lawful Good blogger typically acts with compassion, and always with honor and a sense of duty.
Marama’s tireless blogging activism and social commentary from eviscerating Bob Jones to terrifying Dame Susan Devoy makes her a Joan of Blogs heroine. Her indigenous rights blog gives her critiques a righteousness few can match while empowering underdogs everywhere. Her hobbies include high ranking Jedi Knight and healing sick children.
RUNNER UP – Amanda Kennedy: Her crisp point of view insight speaks with a voice so authentic it pulls muscles in necks from all the head nodding agreement her blogs inspire.
Neutral Good Blogger 2013 – Ben Uffindel:
Neutral Good is known as the “Benefactor” alignment. A Neutral Good blogger is guided by his/her conscience and typically acts altruistically, without regard for or against Lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. A Neutral Good blogger has no problems with co-operating with lawful officials, but does not feel beholden to them.
One of the best arrivals this year in the NZ blogosphere has been the Civilian Blog and Ben Uffindel’s odd surname. In a year of Lorde, Lydia Ko and Eleanor Catton, Uffindel was the only male success story. He is effortlessly funny and far too talented for the South Island. The Civilian’s rise as king of satire answers one important question – Imperator Fish who?
RUNNER UP – Gordon Campbell & Morgan Godfery: Gordon continues to be one of the best bloggers NZ has and his surgical ability to skillfully cut through bullshit spin is one of the few working examples of the Fourth Estate in this country. He is a weekly must read on every topic he writes. Morgan has to be given a special mention, his blogs this year have been extraordinarily good.
Chaotic Good Blogger 2013 – Idiot/Savant
Chaotic Good is known as the “Beatific,” “Rebel,” or “Cynic” alignment. A Chaotic Good blogger favors change for a greater good, disdains bureaucratic organizations that get in the way of social improvement, and places a high value on personal freedom, not only for oneself, but for others as well.
Idiot/Savant continues to be one of the most important voices on the left in NZ. His original level of output makes him one of the most constant critical voices against the powerful. He puts out more official information requests than the rest of the blogosphere combined.
Runner Up – Giovanni Tiso: His activism to get advertisers to boycott Willie & JTs show was one of the high points of blog activism this year.
Lawful Neutral Blogger 2013 – Bryce Edwards
Lawful Neutral is called the “Judge” or “Disciplined” alignment. A Lawful Neutral blogger typically believes strongly in Lawful concepts such as honor, order, rules and tradition, and often follows a personal code.
Bryce has become the Godfather of the Blogosphere and his weekly wrap up of news by blending bloggers into the mainstream media diet of NZ has done more to promote bloggers as news opinion shapers than anyone else. His insights are always valid and he has done more to bring diversity of opinion into the NZ Herald than any one before him.
RUNNER UP – David Farrar & Julie Fairey: I know, I dropped my computer as well. For everything one wants to say about Farrar, his stance against Chorus which saw his contract with National privately threatened showed David was prepared to make real stands against his Government/Employer. That move alone gives him a windfall for credibility. Julie has to be mentioned as her blogs show how respectfully one can engage in argument, her insights raise the standard of the debate.
Neutral Blogger 2013 – Graeme Edgler
Neutral alignment, also referred to as True Neutral or Neutral Neutral, is called the “Undecided” or “Nature’s” alignment. This blogger represents Neutral on both axes, and tends not to feel strongly towards any alignment. A farmer whose primary overriding concern is to feed his family is of this alignment. Most animals, lacking the capacity for moral judgment, are of this alignment since they are guided by instinct rather than conscious decision. Many roguish characters who play all sides to suit themselves are also of this alignment (such as a weapon merchant with no qualms selling his wares to both sides of a war for a profit). Some Neutral bloggers, rather than feeling undecided, are committed to a balance between the alignments. They may see good, evil, law and chaos as simply prejudices and dangerous extremes.
Graeme’s annoying trait of being right 90% of the time puts him in a unique position of being universally respected even though he’s a lawyer. Never one to go below the belt, his intellect makes debate threads worthwhile. His graceful defense of freedom of speech will be judged kinder by history than the present.
RUNNER UP – Andrew Geddis: Really the only reason you would ever read Pundit. If Geddis says it, it’s likely to be true.
Chaotic Neutral Blogger 2013 – Queen of Thorns
Chaotic Neutral is called the “Anarchist” or “Free Spirit” alignment. A blogger of this alignment is an individualist who follows his or her own heart, and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although they promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first. Good and Evil come second to their need to be free, and the only reliable thing about them is how totally unreliable they are. Chaotic Neutral bloggers are free-spirited and do not enjoy the unnecessary suffering of others, but if they join a team, it is because that team’s goals happen to coincide with their own at the moment. They invariably resent taking orders and can be very selfish in their pursuit of personal goals.
The moments of blogging brilliance are eclipsed by the vicious personal vitriol only the anonymous ever have the courage of mustering. Queen of Thorns continues to burn friend and foe with a level of bridge burning efficiency only the American Airforce when carpet bombing Cambodia ever seemed to match. Her ability to alienate should be harnessed in cancer cure research for an effort to stop tumors bonding with healthy cells.
RUNNER UP – The Dim-Post: You may have thought Queen of the Emerald Stormtroopers, Coley Tangerina might have been runner up, but 7 blogs in 3 months does not a blogger make, Danyl’s hatred of Chris Trotter reached spectacular heights this year when Danyl attempted to claim Trotter’s entire body of intellectual thinking amounted to rape apologist hatred. Maybe it’s living in Wellington, maybe it’s living with a Green Party staff member, but Danyl’s desire to murder all of Trotter’s friends and family every single week just seems a bit, you know, ‘creepy’. Like you wouldn’t want to get stuck in a Party talking to him because you just know it would all be about his latest dream where he gets to kill Chris Trotter. Dim-Post was amusing about 8 times this year, so that’s a great increase from 2012.
Lawful Evil Blogger 2013 – Stephen Cook
Lawful Evil is referred to as the “Dominator” or “Diabolic” alignment. Bloggers of this alignment see a well-ordered system as being easier to exploit, and show a combination of desirable and undesirable traits; while they usually obey their superiors and keep their word, they care nothing for the rights and freedoms of other individuals and are not averse to twisting the rules to work in their favor. Examples of this alignment include tyrants, devils, undiscriminating mercenary types who have a strict code of conduct, and loyal soldiers who enjoy the act of killing.
I was going to put David Slack in this position, because his fiendishly funny humor is war crime grade, and because he lives in Devonport and who but the lawful evil manage to buy property there right? But his heart of gold ruled him out, so Stephen Cook it is. Cook’s checkered history and involvement in breaking a story that foreshadowed a suicide already makes him a toxic individual, but teaming him up with someone as venomous as Slater in the Len Brown story was a match made in Hell. The combination of their poison was like giving Gangrene a machine gun. Cook’s desire to make a porn film based on the Len Brown story was this years biggest ‘eeeeeeeeew’ moment.
RUNNER UP – Judith Collins: Her turn as a guest blogger on the awfully pretentious Ruminator blog barely makes Crusher a blogger, but her freakishly cruel twitter feed is the sort of stuff of nightmares. At times you think it can’t be a senior Cabinet Minister saying these things, but then you realize it really is her in all her blood draining horror. Getting caught out by the Blade Runner turtle question this year was one of the great moments of twitter.
Neutral Evil Blogger 2013 – Matthew Hooton
Neutral Evil is called the “Malefactor” alignment. Bloggers of this alignment are typically selfish and have no qualms about turning on their allies-of-the-moment, and usually make allies primarily to further their own goals. They have no compunctions about harming others to get what they want, but neither will they go out of their way to cause carnage or mayhem when they see no direct benefit to it. They abide by laws for only as long as it is convenient for them. A blogger of this alignment can be more dangerous than either Lawful or Chaotic Evil characters, since she or he is neither bound by any sort of honor or tradition nor disorganized and pointlessly violent.
The architect of the Death Star, the moral Shepard of the right and now feminist hero for getting kicked out of a radio interview? The Head of Slytherin House would have had a hard year for calling David Cunliffe a liar 4 times in one interview and calling Nicky Hager a Communist Taliban until he suddenly became a feminist hero, but his main victory this year by killing Chorus puts Hooton in a league of his own. While not actually having a blog, Matthew parasites and trolls The Standard with an efficiency that always allows for celebratory wines before 11am. Sometimes 10am.
RUNNER UP – Cathy Odgers – only because she keeps trying, and she’d be upset if we left her out. Coming second to Hooton will have her screaming. Bless.
Chaotic Evil Blogger 2013 – Cameron ‘Whaleoil’ Slater
The Chaotic Evil Blogger is referred to as the “Destroyer” or “Demonic” alignment. Bloggers of this alignment tend to have no respect for rules, other people’s lives, or anything but their own desires, which are typically selfish and cruel. They set a high value on personal freedom, but do not have any regard for the lives or freedom of other people. They do not work well in groups, as they resent being given orders, and usually behave themselves only out of fear of punishment. It is not compulsory for a Chaotic Evil blogger to be constantly writing sadistic blogs just for the sake of being evil, or constantly disobeying orders just for the sake of causing chaos. They do however enjoy the suffering of others, and view honor and self-discipline as weaknesses. Serial killers and monsters of limited intelligence are typically Chaotic Evil.
This is what I said about Slater last year when he also won this award…
To use the personal employment details of a port worker’s grief as political point scoring for the Ports of Auckland is as gutter as it gets, and when you consider Slater’s crimes against journalism, that really is saying something.
…this year he managed to lower the standard from gutter to sewer. His Len Brown expose was humiliatingly cruel and needlessly malicious. Add into that the swirling allegations of National Party involvement in the outing of the story and claims amounting to blackmail by Bevan Chuang and the whole weeping pus filled wound becomes even less appetizing. When he wasn’t killing off MPs like Aaron Gilmore for not paying political debts, Slater was wallowing in the slime pit post his failure at The Truth. Clearly being forced to live with his Dad hasn’t helped with Slater’s temperament and his current attempt to gain legal protections in a fight with a business man that Slater began attacking for reasons that were never clear, is the least deserving freedom of speech fight this country has ever witnessed.
He is the wolf that cries boy.