It’s 2009

Well, back to the blogosphere post Christmas and New Year’s attempts at relaxation.  Which for me included time with friends and family, great food, swimming at Waimarama and cycling in the Wairarapa.

Just been catching up on some reading from other bloggers who I have been wilfully neglecting over the last couple of weeks.  Liked new Green MP Catherine Delahunty’s description of how MPs behave in New Zealand Parliament: 

And if you catch me yelling twice as loud as is necessary to be heard, making abusive personal comments and howling like a demented she wolf, remind me to do this in my own time and not the nation’s.

Yep, with you on that.

Meanwhile, despite 61 people being killed in the line of duty as well as increasing numbers laid-off pre and post recession, 2008 was overall a safer year for journalists worldwide. Compared with 2007, there were fewer reported murdered, kidnapped or arrested and less media censorship.  Higher levels of physical attacks reported though.

2008 Figures from Reporters without Borders:

  • 60 journalists were killed
  • 1 media assistant was killed
  • 673 journalists were arrested
  • 929 were physically attacked or threatened
  • 353 media outlets were censored 
  • 29 journalists were kidnapped

The Internet is becoming the target of increased repression and state control around the world, with media censorship online reported in 37 countries.  Aotearoa New Zealand doesn’t rate a mention in the report – but some may remember Indymedia being briefly shut-down following the October 15th police raids in 2007.   The monitoring of social networking websites – with pages deemed “offensive” being blocked in some countries – is also something to watch.

Speaking of social networking, TechCrunch tells us how many people were using what in November 2008:

  1. Blogger (222 million)
  2. Facebook (200 million)
  3. MySpace (126 million)
  4. WordPress (114 million)
  5. Windows Live Spaces (87 million)
  6. Yahoo Geocities (69 million)
  7. Flickr (64 million)
  8. hi5 (58 million)
  9. Orkut (46 million)
  10. Six Apart (46 million)
  11. Baidu Space (40 million)
  12. Friendster (31 million)
  13. (29 million)
  14. (24 million)
  15. Bebo (24 million)
  16. Scribd (23 million)
  17. Lycos Tripod (23 million)
  18. Tagged (22 million)
  19. imeem (22 million)
  20. Netlog (21 million)

Facebook and Blogger are also the fastest rising.  Still not going to suck in this luddite though I’m afraid.  I prefer my friends to be real.

And to top off my post-feminist year, it turns out women in public sector jobs are earning up to 35% less than their male colleagues.  Every organisation had a gender pay gap.

Yeah, that’s now, not back in the 1970s, when rape in marriage was still legal and violence in the home was “just a domestic.”  

Given the staggering stability of institutionalised privilege on the basis of having a penis dangling between your legs, my hot off the press pick for Aotearoa in 2009 is simple.

Tui will use its ironic powers for good, and produce a spate of new billboards.  This, my (pretend internet) friends, is just the beginning:









Happy 2009….

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