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May 17, 2008 | by  | in Online Only |
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Cosgrove: Hated by graduates, loves thy penis

At Fridays 1:30 graduation ceremony, VUWSA President Joel Cosgrove turned up on stage wearing a “I (heart) MY PENIS” shirt.

 

These shirts were sold as part of a MAWSA/VUWSA “I <3 My Penis” campaign for safe sex and free STI check ups, because men are less likely than women to get tested. Which in itself is a worthy cause, but there is a time and a place to support it, and it wasn’t particularly appropriate at the formal occasion of graduation.

 

Cosgrove did not wear the shirt to the 6pm ceremony. In fact, he wore a suit to all the other ceremonies.  Maybe, he only wore the shirt because former Salient News Editors Nicola Kean and Laura McQuillan were graduating at 1:30 and he has a dislike of Salient. You know those communists and their hatred of the free press.

 

He stuck out like a sore thumb with his massive overgrown beard and the shirt, and was the only person seated on stage not in full academic dress. Probably because he doesn’t actually have a degree.

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(Fig 1.) A wide angle shot of the stage. All the people except Joel are in academic regalia and wearing suitable clothing for the occasion.

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At the parade on Thursday Cosgrove was wearing a suit. So why did he feel the need to wear the t-shirt on Friday’s ceremony? He could have chosen something more appropriate to the occasion, but the university should not have allowed him to sit on the stage at all.

 

This is a prime example of the complete lack of respect he holds for students.

 

This is a direct insult to you the students of Victoria University, because he is the one up there representing the student body. It is an insult to the graduating students. It is an insult to their families who came to watch them graduate. It is an insult to the academic staff of Victoria University who work tirelessly so you can graduate.

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(Fig 2.) A close up shot of Mr. Cosgrove displaying his inappropriate shirt. You can almost see his distaste for you.

 

Many students weren’t impressed in the least, with a number calling him “a dickhead”

 

What makes it worse is that Joel was passed two notes during the course of the ceremony asking him to cover it up. He eventually did. But after the ceremony, was showing the note off like a badge of honour. Like him being an idiot and insulting people was something to be proud of.

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(Fig 3.) Joel proudly displays the note passed to him by academic staff.

 

The University does not have to let the President sit on the stage. They do so because he is a representative of you, the students. They especially do not have to let anyone who has yet to graduate sit on stage. I would not be surprised if in future graduations the University doesn’t allow the President to sit on stage, thanks to Cosgrove’s idiocy. This would be a major blow for students.

 

Salient will be running an in-depth story in next weeks edition.

 

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UPDATE: Comments have been switched off on this page. If you would like to comment on this matter please do so here.

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All photos on this page by Sean Gillespie.

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About the Author ()

The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

Comments (183)

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  1. Bernard Galaxy says:

    Graduation ceremony’s are the definition of worthless pomp.

    They are like the herding of the academic cattle class. Hey, we got your money, Heres your glass of wine, can I have my hat back, now piss off…

    I didn’t go to university to get a nice certificate and dress up like a prat.

  2. Brunswick says:

    I wasn’t involved with this graduation ceremony in any way, so I have to say I laughed my ass off at the photos. This is chiefly funny because you can imagine the sheer outrage it caused. Please let this get picked up by the DomPost a week after it appears in Salient like they usually do.

  3. I actually think what he did was incredibly offensive. The people getting their degrees confirmed have worked incredibly hard to get there. Some have been at it for years. To have this drongo sit up the top with a ‘humorous’ T-Shirt proudly displayed completely demeans their experience. Its a slap in the face, Bernard, you might think its a load of worthless pomp, but a lot of people don’t. They are immensely proud of the fact that they are there. I doubt those getting their master’s degrees confirmed consider themselves to be part of the ‘cattle class’. Great way to represent students there. Thumbs up.

    Not to mention that fact that some people there didn’t even have the chance to vote for or against Cosgrove, as they weren’t at university at the time.

    Cosgrove should write a formal apology.

  4. Nicole Skews says:

    If there is going to be an in-depth article on this then as the person behind the penis campaign I’d like to be involved.

  5. Chris says:

    What a disgrace.

  6. Nicole Skews says:

    Just my 2 cents…If Joel was wearing the t-shirt to promote the campaign and men’s sexual health being out in the open rather than a taboo, then that’s great (though not the best forum for it). However if he was wearing it to be facetious then that’s the opposite of what the campaign intends.

  7. Switch says:

    What a scumbag.

  8. Leemur says:

    I think it was funny! People should loosen up.

  9. Hellz says:

    This is incredibly insulting, not only for the people graduating with hard earned degrees but also for the student body in general. Gaining a degree (not like Joel would know…) is a highly regarded success and to have our student representative treating it like a joke is offensive.

    It is a worthy cause, and I thoroughly applaud him for supporting it. However this was not the right place to show his support and in doing so, he has probably offended quite a lot of people.

  10. Martin Amis says:

    Once again, Joel Cosgrove behaved like the abominable buffoon we all know that he is. Another disgrace to add to his long list of stunts (recall the debt monster).

  11. SCHWAWWR says:

    For those that were there on the day will know that it was not a big deal. This article has made it into a much bigger issue than it was.

    Although the photo of the rest of the people around him looks like fairly classic graduate dress…some of those gowns were ridiculous. I saw staff mocking themselves for what they were wearing in the following reception, and the only encounter i saw joel have with graduates afterwards was for comments of brief humour.

    they graduated….i’m doubtful they will look back on the day thinking that it was ruined by a sexual health t-shirt. So many grads made comments of how ridiculous the ceremony is, i talked to many who were totally shamed that they had to walk out of the auditorium to what i would consider mocking marching tunes.

    I think this is a fairly pitiful reason for an article trying to cause debate.

  12. Mark, Marcus and Pete @ Subway says:

    I don’t love Joel’s penis.

  13. Sharky D. says:

    “For those that were there on the day will know that it was not a big deal.”
    Everyone I talked to thought it was a big deal, as did their parents.

    “Although the photo of the rest of the people around him looks like fairly classic graduate dress…some of those gowns were ridiculous. I saw staff mocking themselves for what they were wearing in the following reception”
    Yeah, they were wearing robes from their respective universities, which were not offensive.

    “only encounter i saw joel have with graduates afterwards was for comments of brief humour”
    Well it would have to be brief for him to understand it. Oh and did you watch him the whole time?

    “I think this is a fairly pitiful reason for an article trying to cause debate.”
    Why comment then, idiot.

  14. Harry Jones says:

    What a disgrace. I am all for penises but that is not the time or place

  15. Harry Jones says:

    “That’s disgusting. I don’t know what he is trying to prove” – My Mum

    Owned

  16. SCHWAWWR says:

    Yes, i saw parents there very proud to be watching their children graduate, they also didn’t see Joel’s t-shirt to be hindering that experience. You say the t-shirt is offensive, well this is your opinion, fair enough, it is not mine. I do not see what is offensive about a campaign encouraging men to be thoughtful of their sexual health. He represents the students doesn’t he?

    “Well it would have to be brief for him to understand it.”
    This is just kind of ironic.

    and i’ll comment on what i like thanks, my whole point was that i think trying to get a resolution out of this is unlikely, we are all obviously fairly opinionated, and it’ll all dependant on offense levels. I personally don’t see why this is being given so much attention.

  17. If Joel wants to salvage what is left of his political career, a resolution is going to be pretty likely.

    It would probably take the form of unreserved groveling on his part.

  18. Kerry says:

    I’m up there with Nicole: BTW Conrad, work out what the campaign is all about before you bag Joel. Ask Paul Brown, he’s worked on it for a while.

    As someone who has lost a small handful of friends and associates to Breast Cancer, which gets a lot of funding for research and publicity, I consider the gender bias in men’s health funding to be blatent and sexist.
    Nobody liked Gary McCormick’s ad’s for the prostate health check-up campaign either, but they were effective and got a lot of their target demographic into medical surgeries for preventative care.

    You may think that what he did was just another capping ‘stunt’, but it at least is an intelligent comment on the most likely behaviour to occur after Grad week celebrations – or, young man, would you like an STD with that fresh degree certificate? Not to mention the once-traditional ‘removing the bun from the oven’ 9 months after grad night!

    And thanks to Brunswick for alerting me to this prime piece of humour!
    I’d have found it earlier, but I’ve been catching up on sleep, and other social life, since friday myself..

  19. More please says:

    Kerry, will you ever learn some respect for others? It wasn’t appropriate behaviour for the situation.

  20. Sharky D. says:

    Ummm Kerry, Nicole said that it wasn’t appropriate for the situation… It was not intelligent. He could have worn the shirt to the parade, any other time, when he had a bigger audience – all the people down Lambton Quay…
    Do you seriously believe Cosgrove wearing this shirt at graduation made anyone think, “oh shit, I better go get tested!”
    You also fail to realise the main audience at graduation is family, who would’ve had no idea what it meant, you know, the grand parents, the younger brothers and sisters, in some cases grandchildren… would you be ok with what Joel did if it had been one of your children being capped? I think not you hypocritical toad.

    No I don’t think it was a capping stunt, I think it was a major error in judgement on Joel’s behalf.

    Also Kerry, no one wants to hear about your problems

    SCHWAWWR: Fair enough, it just seems to be self defeating if you say that it is not worth debating and arguing about, then debating and arguing about it…

    Also you are right, there is nothing wrong with the campaign, Jackson pointed that out in the second paragraph. What i have got from this is that the argument is not about the value of the <3 my penis campaign, but about the forum cosgrove was promoting it in.

  21. “I’m up there with Nicole: BTW Conrad, work out what the campaign is all about before you bag Joel. Ask Paul Brown, he’s worked on it for a while.”

    For gods sake Kerry. Did you even bother to read the thread? I know what the fucking campaign is about. That still doesn’t mean im not entitled to be outraged at his misuse of the occasion. Haven’t you just graduated Kerry? Shouldn’t you therefore be smart enough to have realised this?

  22. Jackson Wood says:

    Hmmmm….
    Bernard: Yeah you’re right, it is pomp. If Joel feels the same, there are more constructive ways for him to sabotage grad.
    Brunswick: Heh, so true about the dompost.
    Nicole: Thanks for the input.
    Leemur: You are also right, but there is a time and a place to make a point. Whatever deluded point he was trying to make was lost in appalling choice of situation.
    SCHWAWWR: To me this is an issue, maybe not a large one but I feel this is information that students need to know about their president. I think you have to concede that although you personally are not offended by it, you know other people are.
    Kerry: You have a wonderful gift for ignoring the main points of arguments and becoming weighed down in your own parochial mud fights. No one here, especially the author, is debating the the value of running a sexual health campaign. What I was calling into question was the error, on Joel’s behalf, of choosing such an inappropriate forum to spread the message.
    Sharky & Conrad: I know Kerry is infuriating… but yeah… I think most people have learnt to ignore the babble. Attacking her intelligence doesn’t prove anything much.

  23. Kerry says:

    ‘Sharky D’

    quoting Nicole:
    “Just my 2 cents…If Joel was wearing the t-shirt to promote the campaign and men’s sexual health being out in the open rather than a taboo, then that’s great (though not the best forum for it). However if he was wearing it to be facetious then that’s the opposite of what the campaign intends.”

    As I didn’t consider that his behaviour was meant to be facetious, yes, I was agreeing with the sentiment Nicole expressed in the first phrase of the clause.

    Conrad:

    And yes, when I graduated, my children, their aunt, and their grandmother were there.
    So I say, justifiably, that I would have been quite happy with that.
    But then my (teenaged) kids know the anatomical names for their body parts; and have had self-care health messages given to them in plain language. It’s quite a popular concept among intelligent parents in Aro Valley.
    Not sure if you were given anything useful in the way of facts about your body when you were growing up, so couldn’t possibly comment on your parents’ style of childcare.

    Do you think that grandparents are necessarily people who haven’t used the word ‘penis’? You must have a very low opinion of the vocabulary of senior citizens!

    I was also very amused by Joel jumping up to give his best girl a huge hug onstage as she walked towards the Chancellor to have her degree conferred.
    Especially when I heard afterwards what one of the default options not used had been…. You’ll have to ask him about that yourself!

    Perhaps, Conrad, this whole discussion has just shown what a reactionary young fogey you really are, pining for the standards of the mid-twentieth century, when student loans had not happened, and only the upper deciles sent their sons (and occasional daughters) to University.
    Class cross-cultural clash, indeed…

  24. Nice personal attack Kerry. What was it you said in the Protests Galore thread… something like…”First rule of mediocrity is to attack the messenger and ignore the message”

    You disgusting hypocrite.

    It’s also incredibly repugnant of you to take a thinly veiled swipe at the intelligence of my parents. Two absolutely amazing people who hold two Phd’s and three masters between them. What an ignorant and throughly vitriolic woman you are.

  25. Nicole Skews says:

    Just to clarify Kerry, I don’t think Grad was the best forum for Joel to wear that t-shirt considering the formality and likelihood of most of the audience having no idea what the campaign was about. When I started the campaign it was intended to get people’s attention but not to offend them. Of course it was going to rub some people the wrong way, however once the cause behind the campaign is explained, pretty much anyone I’ve encountered who has disliked it has gotten on board with it. Unfortunately there was no way for Joel to do this at Grad and that’s why I feel it wasn’t a good choice. I do wish, however that the anatomically correct term for male genetalia on a t-shirt wouldn’t rouse disgust regardless of the forum.

  26. Jackson Wood says:

    Conrad and Kerry. If you are wondering where your comments are, I have taken them down as they are in no way related to the original topic.

  27. Ooo what did they say?!

  28. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Just a question: Has anyone asked Joel what he was trying to achieve by wearing this T-Shirt to the Graduation Ceremony? Was it an attempt to raise awareness about men’s sexual health issues? Was it done to deliberately raise some eyebrows and ruffle some feathers at an otherwise formal event? Was it the only clean T-shirt left in the house at the end of a wash cycle?

    I agree with Nicole: appropriate issue, inappropriate forum. The T-shirts are meant for shock value, certainly – but wearing one at an event like this generates negative publicity, not positive. Flouting in a defiant manner the note that was passed to him during the course of the ceremony only makes it worse, and seems to indicate the purpose behind it was less around raising awareness and more around ‘feather-ruffling’. Joel might not agree with the ‘pomp and ceremony’ of graduation, but the fact is that many other people do.

    I also agree with Kerry (in part): at least it got people talking, which in the end in what the campaign is supposed to be about – awareness raising. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the low-limelight role of men’s sexual health issues ‘blatant and sexist’, but it does need to be talked about more to break the “it’ll be all good” mentality.

  29. Kate says:

    Are Jackson Wood and Laura Mc Quillan going out?

  30. Nick Archer says:

    Yes

  31. Byron says:

    Awful! how dare Joel not take seriously such a prestigious ceremony! does he not realise the importance of dressing up in Medieval costumes to show how much better graduates are from the plebs outside the university, if he wants to involve himself an political party representing the great unwashed then thats his choice, but how dare he make a mockery of intellectual elitism! he should keep his egalitarian politics out of the university!

    /sarcasm

  32. I think Conrad Reyners is jealous of Joel’s penis.

    And Sharky D… calling someone a “hypocritical toad” only makes you’re own “arguments” look even weaker than they already are. I suggest you go take a super-strength chill pill, and stop trying to make an issue out of nothing.

    “Also Kerry, no one wants to hear about your problems”

    Hmm, so Kerry mentions that friends of hers have DIED from breast cancer, and you respond with THAT? You might as well have said “na na na na na, sux 2 b u!”

    Personally, I am far more interested in Kerry’s problems than I am in those of a jealous, whining child like you.

  33. Myron says:

    Intellectual elitism?

    Do you really think students celebrating all their hard years of work is such a pompous joke? I’m guessing you didn’t make the grade and lack the sense of acheivment befiting of the ceremony. You sound more bitter than sarcastic.

  34. blogette says:

    I hear J Wood and Mcqu are no longer together; can somebody confirm?

    kerry, where you get “pining for the standards of the mid-twentieth century, when student loans had not happened, and only the upper deciles sent their sons (and occasional daughters) to University” when Conrad was saying people shouldn’t wear t-shirts like that on stage at grad; i do not know.

    then again, it is very unclear where most of the abuse that comes from you comes from.

  35. blogette says:

    “intelligent parents in the Aro Valley”

    this is so funny….. unintentionally so, I am sure

  36. chris says:

    <IlAre Jackson Wood and Laura Mc Quillan going out? Nick Archer – Yes

    Where are they going…

  37. Dominic J says:

    The idea of the t-shirt is awesome.
    Could it not just have a “Sexual Awareness saves lives” or something at the bottom? That would have made it way more meaningful.

    Also, has anyone noticed that much of the public experiences more disgust with the scientifically-correct word “Penis” than words like “shlong” or other slang words… Anyone got an idea why?

  38. Dustie says:

    Grad Ceremonies are all about letting grads know they are about to embark on glorious office careers, where they will be told what to wear everyday. I was at the ceremony and to be honest had no problem with the airing of Joels shirt. it was pretty hard to see without a decent zoom lens. i was disappointed that more peolple were not wearing jeans under their gowns, i cant believe all those grads who did work so hard to achieve their degrees wore dress pants and fancy skirts to school each day.

    Unrelated: i overheard a lady say that “those people are taking liberties now, one more of those and ill leave” in response to the waiata and haka being performed for Maori Studies Grads. i think the whole ceremony needs more colour/fun/wellingtoncentricies to make it cooler.

    well done to the grads though.

  39. Laura McQuillan says:

    I agree with the cause, disagree with the occasion. It would be intriguing if Joel would weigh in and tell us the reason for wearing it. And if he’s anti-pomp, why wear a suit to the other ceremonies?

    “I hear J Wood and Mcqu are no longer together; can somebody confirm?”
    I almost feel like a celebrity!

  40. Jackson Wood says:

    Kate & blogette: Not the right forum for discussing my or the McQuillinators personal life. If you want the scoop, you know my email, or since Kate’s IP address is one that is used to comment from, many times, you have some connection to the university so you probably know where the Salient office is.
    If you want to talk about me, come in and see me, we’ll have a cup of tea.

  41. Who is blogette says:

    I’ve been wanting to know for a long time. Anyone have any ideas?

    A VUWSA staff member? A uni staff member?

  42. Laura McQuillan says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s a VUWSA exec member. It used to be believed to be Caroline Prendergast. But it could just be Jackson.

  43. Christine says:

    If you don’t like the formality and the wearing of the gowns, don’t go to the graduation ceremony. If you are going to go, treat the occasion with the respect it deserves. Most people can manage that.

  44. Nick Archer says:

    Does anyone really care?

    Seriously?

    Do the perceived targets (in Jackson’s mind) Nicola Kean and Laura McQuillan even care? Or do they because it’s Joel and they still enjoy sticking it to the man…

    Graduations are about this, at mine someone from one of my Public Policy classes gave a boring speech and it was full of cliches (e.g. “We are the future etc…”)

    This is nothing new, things like this have been done before and seems pretty trivial…

    This is a more interesting change from seeing that ginga and future Rimutaka MP Chipkins (who I was on Exec with at the time) sitting on the stage when I got my Bugger All degree (BA) back in 2000, Alice Revell (a former Exec member even waved at him as she got her degree)…

    Yawn…

  45. Laura McQuillan says:

    The people sitting next to me cared. My family and friends families were like, WTF? I would like to know why he wore it. Can someone at Salient please find out and report back?

  46. Anon says:

    I believe what joel was trying to say was not that he loves his penis.. but that he is a penis (or cock) and he loves himself.

  47. Annika says:

    Congratulations to the Graduates.
    After 4-5 years (or more) of hard work, cold flats, stress, long days of lectures and sleepless nights doing assignments you finally reach the end. A day of ceremony, tradition, photos, celebration, a chance to share this moment with your proud family and friends. You are following in the footsteps of great academics before you, finally receiving some recognition for all your effort before you go off to make your mark on the world. This is your special moment. Oh and look even the student president has turned out to wish you well. Wearing a t-shirt proclaiming he loves his penis.
    Someone with such blatant disrespect for graduation and university students in general should not be the one representing students at such an important event.

  48. Critical_Lemon says:

    Some would argue he shouldn’t be representing students at all.

  49. Hellz says:

    Like most of the people in this thread…

  50. Mia says:

    It’s a shame that a university filled with talented, successful and interesting students is represented by an egotistical, under-achieving and over-compensating tosser, who feels he has the right to cheapen a day that many people look forward to and treat with respect. Even if, unlikely as it is, Joel was promoting STD awareness rather than tickling his immature sense of humour, it was a stupid place to do it. Graduation ceremonies are designed to celebrate the hard work of smart people–penis t-shirt or not, Joel would have stuck out like a sore thumb.

  51. blogette says:

    I am not and have never been a VUWSA exec member. Nor am I caroline pendergast… she was an idiot and the fact she has pissed off is welcome relief to everybody

  52. Nick Archer says:

    Laura McQuillan: “The people sitting next to me cared. My family and friends families were like, WTF? I would like to know why he wore it. Can someone at Salient please find out and report back?”

    Laura it will obviously be a story followed up by Salient, in the news section (note to Ed and Politics Ed’s it shouldn’t be reported in the politics section as it is a news story, even if I think it is storm in a teacup stuff, which is what always seems to be happening at Vic anyway… yet another story of its type that has now gotten legs as there are already over 50 comments on this thread in one day…)

  53. Jackson Wood says:

    Ah… Nick, its posted under ‘Blog’ not politics…

  54. My point, Nick, is that we’re all speculating and whinging, but if Joel could weigh in, or Salient could go to his office and find out what we want to know, we’d be able to make a more informed argument.

  55. Jackson Wood says:

    I talked to Joel before, he called me “Mr. Angry” and said that he only got positive comments from people after the ceremony. Seonah will be writing a story for next weeks mag where she will interview Joel.
    Joel also claimed he didn’t read or comment on the blog… so as to how he can quote off my post is quite interesting.

  56. Nick Archer says:

    Jackson Wood: “Ah… Nick, its posted under ‘Blog’ not politics…”

    I was meaning in the print edition as it is a News Story!

    Jackson Wood: “I talked to Joel before, he called me “Mr. Angry” and said that he only got positive comments from people after the ceremony. Seonah will be writing a story for next weeks mag where she will interview Joel.
    Joel also claimed he didn’t read or comment on the blog… so as to how he can quote off my post is quite interesting.”

    Sweet, it will be followed by the News Ed as I pointed out that it should be…

    Laura McQuillan: “My point, Nick, is that we’re all speculating and whinging, but if Joel could weigh in, or Salient could go to his office and find out what we want to know, we’d be able to make a more informed argument.”

    He’s only downstairs, so make sure you do go and talk to him…

  57. Do you mean I should go talk to him? I’m not at Vic anymore.. I have contacted him however, and am awaiting his response.

  58. blogette says:

    mia has got it right. finding out joel’s GPA would be interesting….certainly wasn’t any coloured robes around his shoulders from what i hear…. just a ridiculous t-shirt….

  59. Matty Smith says:

    I’m confused as to the use of the word ‘thy’ in the title. Surely you mean ‘his’ given the stupid slogan on his t-shirt. Unless you mean to say Joel loves your readers’ penis – a good portion of them don’t have one, I imagine. Is this just some weak-humoured anti-gay slur, i.e. “Joel is gay, he likes (whose?) penis, it’s funny and demoralising for men to like penises”? Or should I merely chalk the use of ‘thy’ down to ignorance or its actual meaning, i.e. Jackson thinks that ‘thy’ is an archaic form of ‘his’?

  60. Matty Smith says:

    *readers’ penises, sorry.

  61. Jeeves says:

    Fuck, even Nick Kelly knew when to act with dignity on solemn occasions. You don’t have to insult every single graduate of your university to make a point. He should grow up.

  62. In line with the whole penis theme, I think that all the whiny little losers who are up in arms over Joel’s t-shirt need to take a Viagra.

    (I’m assuming you’re intelligent enough to get the inference…)

  63. Jackson Wood says:

    “Love thy neighbor” Matty… I am trying to bring back 2nd person singular pronouns.

    I was also trying to express the Ethic of reciprocity, “treat others as you would like to be treated” the fundamental concept on which human rights are based on, and maybe the way Joel should’ve acted.

    (I actually meant THY the Turkish Airline company, I only ever fly with them when I travel in, and around Turkey. Plus they give me MAD kick backs whenever I drop in their name.)

  64. Superior Mind says:

    To everyone who graduated:
    Years from now, looking back at your graduation, do you think you will even spare a thought for Joel and his declaration of love for his John-Thomas?

  65. Joel's Penis says:

    Hello I am Joel’s penis. I’m just writing in this thread to let you all know that I need Joel to love me because no one else will.

  66. Eli Boulton says:

    If I was graduating and I saw that, I’d find it hilarious as fuck. I definitely wouldn’t be offended. But then again I’m not a prude.

  67. Nic says:

    the I love my penis campaign was pretty stupid anyway, and he obviously did this stunt to be a jerk rather than raise awareness for sexual health

    a. if you go to shooters every friday and saturday for the whole semester and screw da ladiez in da t0iletz, then you deserve to get an std
    b. if you have a lump on your dick, go get it checked
    c. joel doesn’t need to worry about his dick, because heleni isn’t getting no 3rd party sugar, so he aint getting no dick infection

  68. Nicola Kean says:

    I worked my ass off for four years, spent a shit load of money, drove for seven hours and flew for half an hour to get to that graduation ceremony. My mum, dad and boy friend were there. A little respect from the student representative on stage would not have gone astray.

  69. Charlotte Whitelaw says:

    McQuillan, you diva you! Good thing you got your Pob so you look the part.

    I’ve clearly been living under a rock to only just hear about all this…a rock called Whitireia…sigh.

  70. The Smelly Marxist says:

    Qdos to Joel for the t-shirt. Capping ceremonies, being the pretentious wank that they are, are in dire need of some humour. At my last one I was tempted to wear a body-painted birthday suit under my pink and grey batman cape.

  71. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    I may point out that Eli Boulton and Alastair Reith are both members of the Workers Party. According to thespark.org.nz they are 16 years old and members of the workers party.

    This information kinda makes what they say a bit funny:
    “if I was graduating and I saw that, I’d find it hilarious as fuck. I definitely wouldn’t be offended. But then again I’m not a prude.”
    Well buddy you weren’t graduating, and if, in 6-10 years time, if you manage to make it to university and graduate, you may have matured somewhat.

    No doubt zealots indoctrinated young as the online foot soldiers of the revolution.

  72. Gibbon says:

    High Five, Pete

  73. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    Thanks Gibbon.

    I also find Eli’s use of the word prude funny. “Prude was orginally a noble compliment. Throughout history, it was usually associated with wisdom, integrity, usefulness, and profit.”

    Prudence, from whence the word comes is defined to mean: “discretion: knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress; “the servants showed great tact and discretion” (from http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=prudence)

    As Joel is technically and literally the servant of the students… one would hope that he would use tact and discretion… these are key attributes of leadership which seem to totally escape his grasp. Meanwhile we all have to pick up the pieces after his spasmodic flailing trying to grasp them, knocks over respect for the position of president, the roll of the president in formal VUW affairs, and the way in which average Jo thinks about students.

    Joel has done more for proponents of VSM in the past 5 months than any other person who actually believes in it.

  74. Jackson Wood says:

    After some more investigation of the Workers Party wikipedia page I have discovered that Alastair Reith was once in the “Notable Members” section of the page. This edit was promptly removed… looks like the Party didn’t want their bright and shiny star of the blogosphere to be tarnished by the realities of the world too soon.

  75. Nick Archer says:

    Looks to me that some people were busy between 1:39am and 2:56am this morning…

  76. Jackson Wood says:

    Your point being? Just because some people (including myself) don’t fit into your ideals of a circadian rhythm, you shouldn’t criticise.

    But seriously you should be worried: I am a vampire.

  77. Nick Archer says:

    Ha ha, Joel beware, cover that neck (no not the one down there)… oh well at least you are up now, even if you happen to be blurry eyed…

    Your favourite vampire movie? (cue for Haimona to weigh in with obscure selections… Geez blog threads get off topic…)

    Nosferatu (Herzog version, haven’t seen original yet) is great, Blade 1 and 2 good (well action was, Blade Trinity sucked), Interview with the Vampire was fun, Bram Stokers Dracula was creepy (no not just Keanu Reeves’ wooden acting but Oldman’s creepy haircut), Van Helsing was crap but fun (that machine gun cross bow was a high light, pity about the unconvincing 90s style effete goth dracula), Lost Boys a classic, From Dusk to Dawn (Highlight: Tarantino’s fantasy about Juliette Lewis and her line…) and John Carpenter’s Vampires…

    and lets not forget all those Simpsons Treehouse of Horror spoofs…

  78. Jackson Wood says:

    Joel makes it on to Kiwiblog! Check out what the raving righties have to say about our beloved president!

    Looks like Peter had it right: “Joel has done more for proponents of VSM in the past 5 months than any other person who actually believes in it.”

    Nick: I’ll start a thread just for you to discuss your fav vampire movie if you want as this is not the right thread… try looking here.

  79. Nick Archer says:

    Thanks, I will check the movie threads, I think it will be a good idea for the Arts Editors to do some bloggin in the areas of the Salient website that relate to them, or to at least to not complain “no one cares about theatre in this town…” etc… (an old gripe you used to find in the Theatre pages over the years…)

    Yes I saw Kiwiblog, has Farrar’s usual trademarks on the original posting…

  80. Edmund Barker says:

    It’s kind of like a wedding or funeral or something. You might not be a fan of them, you might not like conforming to a particular code of dress, however if you have any respect for ANY of the people involved in the ceremony, you do it anyway.

    Joel, parents traveled from afar to celebrate the success of their kids. For a lot of them, their memories will be marred by images of you being an imature prat. The t-shirt endorse a decent cause and I think that you insulted that as well by wearing it to be crass rather than to support STI awareness.

    Fuck you, you cunt. I voted for you and you let me down.

  81. Nick Archer says:

    Are you real Edmund? (sorry but you have to be sure as penis enlargment ads post themselves on this website, not sure if they love themselves though), if you are not a bot or something his office is on the ground floor of the Student Union Building, he has email too (see http://www.vuwsa.org.nz).

    cheers…

  82. Edmund Barker says:

    Nick, if the president of VUWSA doesn’t take his job or the students he represents seriously, then a heated visitation or email isn’t going to mean squat-diddly.

    What are you, his oompa loompa or something? Do you have a real opinion? Or are you so far up Joel’s arse that all you can hear is the muffled gargles of his bullshit? Stop diverting attention away from the fact that he did something stupid which did not accurately reflect the student body that he represents.

  83. Haimona Gray says:

    I apologise for my tardiness Nick, We can continue this over on the film section http://www.salient.org.nz/arts/film/film-review-la-verdad

  84. As a more-or-less objective outsider, I can agree with Jackson that Cosgrove’s appearance was inappropriate and most likely harmful to VUWSA’s standing.

    Yes, Cosgrove was ostensibly trying to promote safe sex – not that many of the attendees would have known it, since the ceremony had nothing to do with sexual health, the t-shirt didn’t actually mention anything about STDs and there was no additional information. It’s basically the same as if he had promoted human rights by wearing a t-shirt that said FUCK ISRAEL.

    All this aside, there’s still the matter of it being someone else’s party. If Cosgrove had been there as a graduand, of course he could have dressed however he liked. But as Jackson has said, he was there as a representative and did not meet the level of decorum that the role requires. If anything he has sent Victoria the message that student politicians are prone to grandstanding and cannot be trusted to work in the institution’s best interests.

  85. That being said, it could also be considered a lapse of judgement and isn’t worth pillorying him over. :D

  86. Haimona Gray says:

    “student politicians are prone to grandstanding and cannot be trusted to work in the institution’s best interests” well said Rory, hit nail on the head with that one.

  87. JJ Feely says:

    It’s about representation. Cosgrove was up on stage because the university pretends and he pretends that he represents ALL students. He does not.

    Introduce voluntary membership and then see how many students are willing to join VUWSA and pay Cosgrove’s wages.

  88. Eli Boulton says:

    Peter:

    Actually I’m 17 now. :) And hopefully in 6-10 years time I’ll still have my sense of humour.

    And regarding the word prude and it’s origins: This isn’t the 18th century any more. The English language evolves.

  89. Laura McQuillan says:

    May I make the point, Eli, that your argument would have much greater weight if Joel was an elected representative meant to represent you, if you had graduated, or in fact if you were a university student.

  90. Nick Archer says:

    Hardly, people who aren’t at presentt studying are do not carry less weight from participating in the debate (as Kiwiblog is weighing in on this also!) and considering Eli’s age he may be represented in the future.

    Are you going to study at Vic in the future Eli? Or elsewhere?

  91. Laura McQuillan says:

    Umm right. So people at high school, or in a rest home, can possibly understand how the behaviour of someone representing students affects students? They have no idea of the way Vic or VUWSA works, what the experience of graduation is like.. But you believe that they can really argue that an issue like this does not affect students, and that people shouldn’t care. Please, Nick. You’re not a student yourself, just a Cosgrove supporter.

  92. Jackson Wood says:

    FFS nick this isn’t a social chat about the aspirations of marxist teenagers. If you want to know Eli’s career plans email him, don’t post it on here.

    Kiwiblog is weighing in on this issue ON Kiwiblog, not on here. If you want to talk about every idea that pops into your head I suggest you start your own blog.

  93. Nick Archer says:

    Laura: “Umm right. So people at high school, or in a rest home, can possibly understand how the behaviour of someone representing students affects students? They have no idea of the way Vic or VUWSA works, what the experience of graduation is like.. But you believe that they can really argue that an issue like this does not affect students, and that people shouldn’t care. Please, Nick. You’re not a student yourself, just a Cosgrove supporter.”

    But it is ok for you Laura to say that the people who read this blog and leave comments that you disagree with carry less weight because they are not studying “yet but maybe (that is why I asked Eli if he intends to join Vic soon). And for your information I am a former student therefore I have graduated (unlike Eli who you infer obviously hasn’t) so I have as much right to post about this as you do…

    Jackson:

    “FFS nick this isn’t a social chat about the aspirations of marxist teenagers. If you want to know Eli’s career plans email him, don’t post it on here.”

    No need to get rude and arrogant Jackson, you are a bit RICH to blog like crazy about issues that pop into your own head and wage ill informed comments/campaigns about people (e.g. Joel) and issues (like this incident) as Laura noted yesterday: “My point, Nick, is that we’re all speculating and whinging, but if Joel could weigh in, or Salient could go to his office and find out what we want to know, we’d be able to make a more informed argument.”

    My question for you is have you found out what you wanted to know yet, has Joel been forthcoming (it is his job to do this as he is supposed to be approachable as the representative of the students and to the media) and you are well in your rights to keep on his case about this and to blog about it also. I am looking forward to reading the news story in Salient next week about this.

    Jackson again:

    “Kiwiblog is weighing in on this issue ON Kiwiblog, not on here. If you want to talk about every idea that pops into your head I suggest you start your own blog.”

    That may be true but it is HYPOCRITICAL for you to have posted with glee earlier:

    “Joel makes it on to Kiwiblog! Check out what the raving righties have to say about our beloved president!

    Looks like Peter had it right: “Joel has done more for proponents of VSM in the past 5 months than any other person who actually believes in it.” ”

    So Kiwiblog is allowed to weigh in, you post comments about them even though “Kiwiblog is weighing in on this issue ON Kiwiblog, not on here.” and it’s ok for them to comment about this issue but not a teenager, it’s enough to make a teenager not want to come to Vic if they are going to get treated like this by their student media.

    If lets say David Farrar or someone else who posted on the comments section on Kiwiblog were to come over here (at the source via ‘Scoopit’) would they be informed Laura and would their comments carry weight? Why isn’t Eli allowed to comment? Who cares if he is right or wrong (its called ‘Submit Comment’ afterall) he is a member of the public browsing the web and coming across this blog he should be able to make his comments. Is there a list of rules on the Salient website that covers this?

    I would have expected Laura to debate him on a matter of substance instead of saying he carries no weight because he doesn’t go to Vic.

    I do concede that you have authority to moderate this blog Jackson and are doing some good topics and posts (as along with your colleagues) as you are the Politics Editor but I think it would be a good idea to welcome free debate from all quarters be they student or not, I have noticed that a lot of the threads on this website get pretty feral and abusive wheras I have tried to be calm and polite while making comments and treat others on the blog with respect, something that can’t be said of some of the pseudonyms that post here…

  94. Seann says:

    What is the fuss about? I’ve been involved with this University since 1993. I was sitting on the stage on the day – myself and other colleagues found the whole thing quite cute. These sorts of shenanigans are commonplace in universities internationally; there’s been some rather radical stunts at other grad ceremonies. For goodness sake, this is the least we should expect. Quite polite actually. What a silly, silly trivial person, this Jackson Wood character is.

  95. Jackson Wood says:

    Thanks Seann. It is good to hear from someone on stage, and someone who is actually involved in Vic.
    I would put to you however that you should play the ball, not the man.

  96. Nick, it matters not whether someone disagrees with me. It does, however, matter that the majority of those supporting Joel on this matter are neither students nor graduates from last week. And those people’s opinions do carry more weight on this issue, as they are either his constituents, or those most related to the issue of what he wore.

    Hence why the opinions of someone who has never been to Victoria University or someone who graduated several years ago do not carry nearly as much weight, if any, on this issue.

    There is no point in me debating high schoolers, who just so happen to be Workers Party members, on their ‘substance’ (or lack thereof), when their arguments are that people commenting on this post need Viagra and/or are prudes. What is there to debate? And if they had made any points worth debating, would it matter when they, themselves, are irrelevant to this debate?

    You’ve managed to completely miss the point here Nick. That point being that yes, graduates do care. The university is pissed off. People have contacted Joel and he is yet to explain his actions. And that is what we are discussing here, and it would be Salient’s error not to immediately raise this issue for discussion.

  97. Joel's damaged Penis says:

    I am joel’s penis

    If he loves me so much, why does beat me every night.

    Penis abuse is never OK

  98. George says:

    Oh you lot are such a precious bore. It was funny. Grow a sense of humour. Maybe he wasn’t wearing formal gear, but that didn’t stop people getting their degrees with all the pride, trimmings and formalities that you would hope for. You guys make out like Joel was “the grinch that stole graduation”. Ridiculous. I must admit I do I just find it amazing and intriguing that expressing a love for part of the human anatomy triggers such outrage…

    Also-regardless of Joel’s motives, it obviously a really good way of getting people thinking about the campaign. Perhaps thinking about Joel’s penis is disturbing to some. But what I find even more disturbing is the fact that only 3% of men in a recent survey had an STI check in the last year!

    Maybe it pissed a bunch of prudes off (YES prudes! Penises shouldn’t have to be offensive, it’s a freakin body part! Ladeda!) but on the whole lot of people talking about it. It’s ruffled feathers but it’s gotten people talking about it.

    It might not seem like it, but most people who aren’t involved aren’t really that intrigued by student politics. Some element of cheekiness/humour/over stepping the line is appropriate in certain contexts to draw attention to things that would otherwise be ignored (especially in this day of information overload). That’s what gets people talking about the issues don’t you know?!

  99. Dickhead Archer says:

    Nick: your escalating ramblings sound mildly psychotic. Have you considered getting professional help? Or perhaps a job?

  100. Brunswick says:

    I want to be Joel’s Oompa-Loompa.

  101. You’ll need a lot of fake tan.

  102. George says:

    Can you please add “Joel is awesome and cracks me up” to the poll please?
    Thx.

  103. george of the jungle says:

    The only people that seem to have got pissed off and made this into a big deal – a kiwblog big deal- were ex-salient reporters and partners. The same people who would do anything to get at Joel C. The issue behind the t-shirt is a scandal, not the t-shirt. I just hope Fuckar at kiwiblog doesn’t end up with the terrible disease.

  104. Eli Boulton says:

    Wow i’ve caused quite a bit of an argument here!

    Nick – I am probably going to Auckland Uni due to the fact I live in that region so I can stay closer to my family, but I am going to apply for Vic too as I may not get into Auckland Uni due to the higher entrance standards. :)

    And Laura – What are the ramifications of him wearing a “I <3 My Penis” shirt exactly? As in something that’ll affect you as students as he is a representative of Victoria students? The way you are wording this it sounds like every student is going to get the cane.

  105. george of the bungle says:

    “The only people that seem to have got pissed off and made this into a big deal – a kiwblog big deal- were ex-salient reporters and partners.”

    Hmmm, have you read many of the posts? Were you at the graduation? Did you not hear the many comments about it? Face it jungleman, Cosgrove has widely been perceived as cocking-it-up.

    And if you take a closer look, the handful of people supporting him are workers party types and disgruntled ex-VUWSA people like Archer.

  106. Student says:

    Eli: The likely “ramifications” of Joel’s penis display is that the Uni may decide not to invite a student representative on stage at following graduations. They may also withdraw VUWSA’s chance to decide who the student speaker is. On top of that, the University is hardly going to want to do VUWSA any favours.

    There are much more rewarding and important ways of disrespecting and pissing off the University. However, Joel’s wasted that card on something reasonably insignificant to the average student.

    I don’t think he deserves to be rolled over it (necessarily) but he owes it to his constituents to publicly apologise.

  107. george of the jungle says:

    “Hmmm, have you read many of the posts? Were you at the graduation? Did you not hear the many comments about it? Face it jungleman, Cosgrove has widely been perceived as cocking-it-up” – come on Sean and Laura and them pretending to be other people –

    A tutor of mine graduated at this and he was fine by it, he just wanted his paper, he didn’t care. So does that mean that the the numbers for and against balance now?

  108. “After some more investigation of the Workers Party wikipedia page I have discovered that Alastair Reith was once in the “Notable Members” section of the page. This edit was promptly removed… looks like the Party didn’t want their bright and shiny star of the blogosphere to be tarnished by the realities of the world too soon.”

    Lol I never even knew about that, thanks for the heads up Jackson! :P However, I would have thought that anyone with half a brain could tell that a post like that was not written by the Workers Party, and furthermore is totally irrelevant. Why would wikipedia allow a random attack on communism to be included in the WP page?

    And I’m pleased to see the level of arrogance displayed by Laura M. I hope that she’s consistent, and refuses to comment on any situation or event she didn’t see first hand, because after all what right would she have to do so?

    So, for example, Laura has no right to discuss national politics, as she was not in the Beehive at the time as this was going on.

    She is not allowed to comment on the recent cyclone in Burma, as she has not been to Burma and was not there at the time.

    She is not allowed to comment on the US Presidential elections, as she is not American and is not currently in America.

    Laura doesn’t strike me as a hypocritical person, so I’m sure she will refrain from commenting on anything like this for the rest of her life.

  109. “Why would wikipedia allow a random attack on communism to be included in the WP page?”

    Why would they! This is an outrage! Wikipedia is showing a pro-capitalist bias! Argh! the Wheels of the vast right wing conspiracy are starting to turn!

    everyone! grab your tin foil hats and man the barricades! Alastair, lead us through these troubling times where someone can deface a wikipedia page. Oh woe!

  110. Eli – I have no argument to make for or against Joel wearing the tshirt. I’m only here to gauge other peoples’ opinions. For my homework, you might say.

    George of the Jungle – Nice try, but the name I post under is Laura McQuillan, so that should help you figure out what my posts are.

    Actually Alastair, unlike you I am of voting age, so I think my opinion on national politics does count! And as you say, my opinion on the US Presidential election doesn’t matter as I am not a stakeholder in the election. I hope you’re now going to apply your own formula to yourself.

    Do you understand what I mean? I can make it simpler for you if you require.

  111. george of the bungle says:

    So georgie, how much does your tutor weigh then? Must be one fat bastard.

    And, “them pretending to be other people”?

    Is jungle your family name or did you use deed poll?

  112. Is Salient going to call the matter Penisgate?

    Please?

  113. Penis grate. Perhaps.

  114. Brunswick says:

    Laura, you are made up of equal parts win and awesome.

  115. Hellz says:

    I’m sorry but how exactly are we being prudes? I would have been annoyed if Joel wore any teeshirt with a slogan on it to be honest. If he wore a suit to the other graduations, why not to this one? I have no problem with the word penis, or the message it is presenting. The fact is, it was the wrong forum. Why are we still debating this?!

  116. It doesn’t deserve a gate, or this much attention and should just let it die.
    However I do think the title should have been – Joel, Penis, SCANDAL.

  117. George says:

    “And if you take a closer look, the handful of people supporting him are workers party types and disgruntled ex-VUWSA people like Archer”

    Well, there’s a sweeping assumption if ever I saw one. I’m neither. But I was just wondering what precisely you meant by “worker’s party types”? Also- would you care to explain how being in the worker’s party or an ex-exec member somehow undermines the credibility of one’s opinion?

    “The likely “ramifications” of Joel’s penis display is that the Uni may decide not to invite a student representative on stage at following graduations.”

    Hahaha. Joel’s “penis display” I like how Joel wearing an STI awareness campaign T-shirt has somehow morphed into something which makes it sound like he flashed people’s friends and family at graduation…

    Maybe the University could “ban” all future student representatives, on the basis of a T-shirt that they didn’t like; a T-shirt which refers to a part of the male anatomy which we have been socially conditioned to think of as “rude”. But if they did, it would merely show them to be out of touch, narrow minded and to have the moral disposition of a Victorian prude (no pun intended). I would personally hope that an academic institution that esteems itself about the fact “it makes you think”, might have a bit more perspective than that. The T-shirt is designed to make you think and I think it does it very well.

    “On top of that, the University is hardly going to want to do VUWSA any favours.”

    Um, what “favours” exactly did you have in mind for VUWSA? I don’t think Uni has ever done VUWSA any favours. Uni is a business and VUWSA provides services and student representation. The two naturally have competing interests. I’m not sure that VUWSA taking the tact of “tip-toeing” around as you seem to be suggesting will do anything to benefit students in the long run. Joel’s “in your face” approach may be unpopular with some, but it has already proven to generate support and get results in the face of tough odds (film school victory anyone? amazingly successful $10 billion debt day anyone?). Forget not that the University requires student approval, as they are indeed the biggest stake holders.

    “There are much more rewarding and important ways of disrespecting and pissing off the University.

    I’m sure there are a number of ways to “piss off” the University. But contrary to popular opinion, VUWSA don’t exist for the purpose of disrespecting or “pissing off” the University. I believe that they exist to make sure students get the best deal possible and are fairly represented in decision making processes. Sometimes being “outrageous” is a good way of being heard and making your presence known.

    “However, Joel’s wasted that card on something reasonably insignificant to the average student.”

    As far as raising awareness of the need for getting STI checks is concerned, I fail to see how something which affects the 97% of 50% students on campus is insignificant. While contracting chlamydia may not be directly attributable to the actions of the University, I’m quite comfortable in asserting, physical well being is just as important to life success as is a fancy diploma on your wall.

  118. Can you elaborate on how the 10 billion dollar debt day was such a mega success?

    All I can remember about it was that the Worker’s party (and others) hijacked the protest, and Joel refused parliamentarians the opportunity to voice their support for the issue.

    Did Aunty Helen wipe all of our loans when we weren’t looking?

    “Also- would you care to explain how being in the worker’s party or an ex-exec member somehow undermines the credibility of one’s opinion?”

    Well, it certainly shows some degree of Utopian irrationality…

  119. Jackson Wood says:

    The argument so far, for all those too lazy to read all the comments:

    Those who back Joel’s T-shirt wearing at Grad are either: Nick Archer, from the workers party, under 18, no longer at university, never been to university, fail to see that all those who do not back Joel think that the male health campaign is a good idea and that it was just an error of judgement on Joel’s behalf to wear the t-shirt on that occasion, calling people prudes instead of coming up with an argument, going off the point and bringing Jackson’s personal life into the argument, totally side stepped the point about Joel’s actions putting the role of student reps attending formal occasions into jeopardy, who cares: people won’t remember it, that because people don’t wear formal dress up to uni so why should we wear it at grad, Questioned Jackson’s use of ‘thy’ in the title, pretty much everything except getting Joel to front up to his constituents and comment, or actually explaining anything.

    Those against Joel’s T-shirt wearing at Grad are either: Asking him to at least apologise, questioning why he felt the need to wear the shirt to only one ceremony if he was indeed making a statement, voicing their disagreement with the President for wearing the shirt, distancing themselves from their President, argued that most of the people at that session of graduation had no idea what the T was about, that he should use discernment of situations to gauge possible public opinion on his actions and act accordingly to pick whatever perceived battle his is fighting.

    Those who are trying to be funny have pretended to be: Sarcastic, Joel’s Penis, various organs of his girlfriend, funny, intelligent, headline makers.

    Joel, although knowing about the post has declined to comment on it, even though he has seen and talked to Jackson since it went up. He has done an interview with Seonah Choi, the News Ed. which will be in next Mondays edition of Salient

    If this post hits 150 comments a new thread will be started so all youse can rant some more.

    Phew! Good to see some awesome debate on here for once.

  120. blogette says:

    nice summary jackson; lucid as always.
    archer – insane and obstreberous as usual.
    we shall see if joel asnwers.

  121. Gibbon says:

    As a sidenote,
    I wasn’t at the graduation ceremony and have not yet had anything to do with Salient, and I think Joel was wrong.

  122. Disgruntled Grad says:

    As a participant of the 1.30pm on Friday, at first I was intrigued by Joel’s t-shirt, which at first I was not able to see all of, but when it was revealed, my dislike towards Joel grew even further. This guy did not deserve to sit on the stage with the prestigious academics which surrounded him. My partner, parents and Grandmother, who had travelled for the event, were all appalled by Joel’s lack of respect for the graduates, attendees, academics and the university as a whole. Frankly, I do not care about Joel Cosgrove, and I hate to think how many people are thinking about it since his performance on Friday afternoon.

    Being a graduate of Art History and Media Studies, I have attended many lectures where I have shared the unfortunate company of Mr Cosgrove himself. From first year I thought this guy was a complete dickhead, excuse the pun. Please Joel, no one actually wants to hear you speak. Unfortunately back then, you were the only person who was willing to speak up in lectures, which lecturers loved, until they realised it was you. This stunt that was pulled last week, sorry no pun intended, shows how this man is able to say exactly what he’s thinking without saying a word.

    [This paragraph does not comply with Salient’s internet policy and has been moderated. JJW]

    Joel is a true politician, not following though with your election promises. I remember last year, Joel’s selling point was free printing. Do students have fee printing yet? Not that I’m aware of. Joel is truly great at wasting student association fees. Last year, Geeko had booked the VUWSA BBQ. Unfortunately, it was not there and when it was tracked down, it just so happened to be at Joel Cosgrove’s flat – Joel had taken it upon himself to borrow not only to the BBQ but also use the VUWSA van to transport it. Geeko’s purpose for the BBQ was to raise some money and because of Joel idiocy, Geeko missed out on the Quad lunch time rush.

    I agree firmly with Jackson Wood’s comments. Why should the university continue to give any student representative the privilege of sitting on stage? Capped or not? Basically, my final comments are: Fuck you Joel, you tainted all Graduates memories of this important day, perhaps most important day thus far in our lives.

  123. Not really the arena for personal attacks Disgruntled – as Jackson said, play the ball, not the man. Heleyni was actually a great asset to VUWSA and served students exceedingly and to the very best of her ability. She’s also a very lovely person indeed. So can we please not be haters!!

    PS Watch 3 News.

  124. Jackson Wood says:

    Joel was just interviewed by TV3 News, he preformed quite well. It will feature in the top three stories of tonights evening news! Some Salienteers went down to support the message of the mens sexual health campaign, go watch it!

  125. George says:

    Hahaha.
    Ohh dear.
    Vice Chancellor- you’re a dweeb.

  126. Brunswick says:

    Was John Campbell saying “Goodness!” at Joel’s T-shirt or Rachel’s boobs?

  127. Possibly at the dildo on a stick Jackson was holding behind Joel’s head?

  128. Jenni says:

    Hey I was at the graduation ceremony and was horrified at Cosgrove’s shirt – I was completely unaware of the purpose behind the shirt, so as you can imagine i was fairly pissed that he had decided to wear a shirt like that – especially in front of all the family and friends etc (I’ve become accustomed to his bushman appearance).

    although I now understand the point of the shirt I would have preferred that he saved it for another occasion – especially when he wore alternative clothing at all the other ceremonies and he was asked to cover up!

    Although he may have the best of intentions, his lack of thought and disregard shows that he obviously has no respect for others and as such should never have turned up for the ceremony – especially when he appears to have no degree so really no right to be onstage (even if he is the prez and all that).

  129. Yoda says:

    Actually you will find as a University Council member he will be allowed on stage.

  130. antony says:

    all of you stfu it was awesome lmao

  131. joel of the jungle says:

    ??? considering the Neolithic look and poor gramma.

  132. Fred Flinstone says:

    Who knew that Salient writers could whine so much?

    Who gives a damn if Cosgrove wore the shirt, lighten up. When did Salient start taking the university establishment line and get offended by such trivial things?
    I guess students are losing their sense of humour, which is sad to see.

  133. Uvall says:

    DIRTY BLOODY COMMY!!! If Paul “Danger” Brown doesn’t win the presidancy next election I’m gonna make sure I don’t return to VUW to study honors and masters. I’m ashamed the communist cosgrove is in the same major as myself, but glad he’s not taking the same papers because then I would be rather pissed off and would no doubt attempt some form of brutality upon him, verbal or physical I do not know. Paul, make sure you run for VUWSA PRESIDENT AGAIN!

  134. Jackson Wood says:

    Fred Flinstone: Oh we can whine all right. With our powers combined we can pretty much out-whine anyone, hands down, no sweat. You stick me, Conrad, BKD, Proctor, Tristan, Seonah, Sarita, Tony, Tania, Jenna, Haimona et al in a room and we whinge… like bitches, especially about the people that comment on our posts.

    We haven’t so much taken the side of the university establishment as highlighted the silly things our president is doing to embarrass us students, which – if you flip back through copies of Salient from years gone by – you will find has always been something us whiney whiners have done.

    I would also add that Salient voices the concern of many students, who voted for and had faith in Joel. As members of VUWSA we pay about a squillion dollars each year and have the right to raise an issue with the behavior of our representative. Salient is providing a forum for that. So debate and be merry!

    We haven’t lost our sense of humour. It is just more developed and accessible than the “humour” of wearing a t-shirt to a formal ceremony where nobody but the person wearing said t, finds it amusing.

  135. Haimona Gray says:

    “You stick me, Conrad, BKD, Proctor, Tristan, Seonah, Sarita, Tony, Tania, Jenna, Haimona et al in a room and we whinge… like bitches, especially about the people that comment on our posts.” – Kevin Rudd is right, we don’t all agree on anything other than our hatred for all of you (just kidding we enjoy an earnest debate, until it gets too personal then it stops being a discussion and crosses into self righteous blog hell).
    p.s. yay Salient dildo got on tv3 news

  136. Rachael says:

    Yay my boobs got on tv3 news! Covered!!

  137. trixie says:

    JOEL FOR PRIME MINISTER.

  138. Brunswick says:

    The Salient dildo? I thought he left at the end of last year?
    Yay, Rachael, you made John Campbell knock over his desk with excitement!
    I noticed that Joel’s penis buzzed Gary Kasparov last night.

  139. Dave says:

    Joel,

    Maybe you were inspired by the actions of past president Geoff Hayward when you went to get dressed for this graduation ceremony. I remember attending a capping ceremony for the Law Grads in 2006 and sitting amongst all these AMAZING academics was some dude in a t-shirt and shorts. How on earth id he get on stage, I asked my brother. He replied, he is the student rep, thats what they do.

    I hate to now think what, not only my brother, but anyone would say when they got to see our student representative sitting with those academics once more and weaing a t shirt saying I love my penis.

    I couldnt help but be somewhat outraged when this story led the night line news, ahead of guilty verdicts in some of New Zealand’s most controversial cases. This man does not represent us. This man is not what it means to be a student, and this man needs to get his bags packed.

    Im sick of student representation being about drinking at exec meetings, failing to deliver on election promises of free printing and internet, random people claiming to be the A team, but then really just wanting to sell party pills. Im sick of student representation.

    My student loan currently sits at over 13000 dollars and is still going to grow. I want someone who is aware of something called respect, actually doesnt shove their arses in windows during University meetings, and doesnt badger me to join in a walk to parliament to stop the drinking age being raised when I am already over 20. Student representation should be about keeping christopher lamonica honest and telling him to stop selling his texts or ranting on about pointless stuff in his african paper, it should be about getting the most out of our compulsory fees for learning and more books and better resources for students. It should be about letting us as students have a voice and most of all, recognising achievment on the grandest of scales in capping ceremonies.

    This sort fo shit has been happening for years. Why not become Obama and call for change?

    FUCK YOU JOEL

  140. blogette says:

    brunswick you are a total idiot and have been a waste of space at the VUWSA offices for years. bog off.

  141. Jenna Powell says:

    “When I was at university students marched in their thousands to promote freedom; things like gay rights, anti-racism.”

    … and then there was Joel Cosgrove and his penis T shirt.

    Are you serious?

    I can imagine the history books now: bearded man subverts pomp and ceremony by wearing penis T Shirt. and that is how peace prevailed. He made the world a better place! Rejoice!

    How can you compare wearing the penis T shirt to all of that.

    Yeah yeah…sti’s… and with TV3 news covering the story it prob has raised some awareness… but still it cheapened the ceremony a little for a lot of those involved and they want to complain about it. Just because you want to be dignified and dress up all pretty… without the threat of penis references… for one day of your life does not mean your conservative.

  142. John, I think, like a few others, you missed the point.

    It’s not that students were offended by the word penis – more that their representative didn’t dress up in respect of their occasion. More than anything, it’s the university that is pissed off (particularly a certain conservative city councillor), so you needn’t attack students for something you didn’t read.

    You also missed the point of what I said about whose voices count most on this matter. I believe I explained it in quite simple terms a few times, so rather than repeating myself, you could read (or re-read) what’s been said above, word for word, and this time don’t imagine you’re reading something that’s not there.

  143. Matty Smith says:

    To be perfectly honest, while I do think Joel has all the personal integrity of a llama, I’m baffled by those who are offended. The pomp and wastefulness of a graduation ceremony has always been difficult for me to grasp, I just got the damn thing mailed to me. The whole ceremony process does seem ripe for ridicule. Given that Joel is Student President, the t-shirt was probably “inappropriate” – decorum and wot-not, hats off inside, &c… But why anyone actually gives a shit, I don’t know. There are plenty of real problems you could be criticising Joel over.

  144. Fair point Matty. But for a lot of people graduation is a big deal. If Joel disagreed, he didn’t actually have to go.

  145. ex exec says:

    Lol
    Nice one joel – my hubby saw u on the strret and laughed his nut off :) Perhaps not appropriate, true, but u got guts

  146. Outraged IIama says:

    Hey Matty, what you got against us llamas? Some of us have great personal integrity. I could name at least 17 llamas with more personal integrity in their left rear toenails than some hirsute self-proclaimed onanist who is ignorant enough to think it is amusing to trample all over the mana of hundreds of successful students and their whanau.
    I wouldn’t waste my spit on such a disappointing coprolite.
    Beware – there are llamas!

  147. James Malthus says:

    I think this partly comes down to disliking Joel and frustration at his inability to deliver his election promises. He has given us an excuse to bitch about him so we did.

    And yes, salient writers whine. They whine in the magazine, they whine in the salient office and they whine at home. They are journalists, and they are students, what the fuck else is there to do with their time?

    I’ve spent the last four hours whining, bitching and laughing with a lot of them. It’s fun, try it. Just dont take it too seriously.

    We think Joel is a cock, therefore we bitch and as the people who pay his salary we have every right. Like any of you don’t bitch about polititians.

  148. James Malthus says:

    “That’s hardly an overwhelming groundswell of rage against Joel’s actions.”

    Well you just said yourself we are allowed to be offended, so we can be outraged if we want. Not that I think it really is outrage. Like I said before, opportunity to get pissy at Joel.

    Frankly I think we could tell you to shut up about “the good old days” when students actually had time and really decent causes to get behind. I’d love to see more activism and I think you’ll find that a lot of salient writers and staff get involved in that kind of thing.

  149. Rabbit says:

    i find that beard offensive, lets shave the man?

  150. Danyboi says:

    The media will make a story out of anything, if you weren’t at the ceremony you have no right to say it had an impact either way because you weren’t there to know. Don’t let them wind you up when you wouldn’t have been so opinionated if the coverage hadn’t reached such a scale.
    Joel doesn’t make great choices, i think we have concluded that.
    He did give give the dull ceremony a bit of spice.
    Get a sense of humour people.

  151. So really like only me and Nicola Kean get a say? Oh the irony!

  152. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    “if you weren’t at the ceremony you have no right to say it had an impact either way because you weren’t there to know.”

    Which is we don’t study history and we don’t have political reporters on TV, news papers and radio, telling us what happened that day in parliament. What a stupid thing to say: because we’re not there we shouldn’t care and should not have an opinion on it.

    He did not give the dull ceremony spice, he made it rancid with his foulness.

    By writing about stuff like this, it applies pressure on Joel to stop and think about things before he does them, which will benefit ALLLLLL students. Well at least we hope that it will make him stop and think… it probably won’t. He has probably consolidated his views in an effort to rationalise his actions.

  153. James Malthus says:

    John, I probably didn’t out my post much but I will respond to your examples with my own opinion just to back myself up.

    End to class society: Show me a method that makes everyone equal, well off AND works in practice and I think I’d probably be all for it.

    End to racism: In my opinion we kinda lost that when the humans that left the Rift Valley started to change and evolve. We almost are racist by accepting those people are different and there are races at all.

    End to oppression of women: This is something that will hopefully die out over time, and if it doesn’t it will be for the same reason that we have racism: They are different to men so men will be weary of them.

    The University thing I will accept as an issue we should still be fighting for.

  154. Gibbon says:

    >150

  155. Jackson Wood says:

    Yeha…. I can’t be bothered… keep ’em coming.

  156. Amanda says:

    I think it is disgusting that Joel Cosgrove wore that t-shirt to graduation. It is really disrespectful to the university and all the grads. He shouldn’t have been let in. I personally do not see him as a representative of me as a student. I just hope that when I graduate he will have finally finished his degree and left. Yeah right.

  157. “End to class society: Show me a method that makes everyone equal, well off AND works in practice and I think I’d probably be all for it.”

    It’s called socialism and it works. It doesn’t make everyone “equal and well off” overnight, but it sure beats a society where poor Pacific Island women are murdered by their electricity company because they got behind on the bills.

    “End to racism: In my opinion we kinda lost that when the humans that left the Rift Valley started to change and evolve. We almost are racist by accepting those people are different and there are races at all.”

    Um… that’s rubbish. Racism is not “accepting those people are different”. Racism is upholding a system and set of ideas that treats certain people as second class citizens, or even less than human, because of the colour of their skin, and carrying out actions that enforce this. Racism remains very much present in NZ society today, it’s just generally a less open and more sophisticated version than that of the National Front.

    A world without racism is perfectly possible, and one way or another we will get there eventually – the only question is when. And that will be determined by how hard people are willing to fight for it today, by fighting the system that exploits and propagates racism in order to maintain itself – capitalism.

    “End to oppression of women: This is something that will hopefully die out over time, and if it doesn’t it will be for the same reason that we have racism: They are different to men so men will be weary of them.”

    For fuck’s sake, not that tired old bullshit. SEXISM DOES NOT EXIST BECAUSE WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT TO MEN, AND MEN ARE “WEARY” OF WOMEN. That’s sexist in itself – you’re blaming women for their own oppression. “If only they weren’t so different, if only they’d stop their nagging and give men a break, then there wouldn’t be any sexism!”. What bullshit. Just as with racism, sexism exists because the capitalist system is based on exploitation, inequality and oppression, and sexism is a form of that. Sexism and capitalism must end together, or they won’t end at all.

    “The University thing I will accept as an issue we should still be fighting for.”

    Wow, how magnanimous of you! You’re willing to fight for the one issue that personally affects you! What an awesome person you are!

    Say what you like about Joel as a person, his superb beard and his t-shirt that… *shudders*… had the word PENIS on it (!!!), but you cannot deny that he is a firm and active opponent of all the problems mentioned above, and stands up and fights for the principles he believes in.

    In my book, that makes him a thousand times better person than all the precious, PC, prudish losers here who are getting up in arms about the word “penis”. Ffs, most of you couldn’t even care less about the t-shirt, you’re just using it as an opportunity to pursue a personal vendetta against Joel!

  158. Danyboi says:

    “By writing about stuff like this, it applies pressure on Joel to stop and think about things before he does them, which will benefit ALLLLLL students. ”

    Yeah im really sure the TV3 interview went right over his head. We better just keep bitching online to really hammer this home right?

  159. Alastair, three questions.

    1. How does an electricity company cutting off electricity to a home which had not informed them of its special circumstances count as ‘murder’. Claiming a company is guilty of murder is a pretty serious allegation, it implies a high degree of antisocial culpability. You might want to refine that statement.

    2. How does socialism ‘work’ ? The only way its ever had any institutional effect was when socialism was marred with force and coercion. Are you advocating for violence and oppression in order to create equality and justice? Seems like a strange road to travel…

    3. How is capitalism racist? That makes absolutely no analytical sense. Its not Pareto-efficient. Capitalism could in fact be seen as the great destroyer of racial attitudes. Commerce and trade lead to societal integration, economically and culturally. The true capitalist sells to any market, regardless of race. Care to justify yourself beyond the slogans of your party?

  160. Gibbon says:

    CONRAD
    Finally you’re coming into your own!
    Congrats, and nicely said.
    Gib

  161. James Malthus says:

    Alastair you took my comments way too far. I do not blame women for their oppression. It’s a two way street, men are weary of women and women are weary of men, I do not for a second believe that “If only they weren’t so different, if only they’d stop their nagging and give men a break, then there wouldn’t be any sexism!”

    The stance I took on racism is more a statement about how we treat racism as a society and how many people treat anything different with trepidation. I suppose you are all for the abolition of Maori education grants and their doctors getting more money to treat Maori and Pacific Islanders if you want no racism?

    And as for only one of those affecting me, I am Euorpean-Indian-African, racism is very relevant for me; in fact being French has earned me disparaging remarks regardless of any other ancestory.

  162. Kerry says:

    OMFG.

    Joel & Rachael rock.

    & blogette:
    your mean and twisted little mind should get back inside your straight-jacketed body, go scream at the padded walls, you miserable little bitch! You’ve caused enough havoc for the past decade, do not walk past my house again!

  163. Gibbon says:

    shaddup kerry
    go be an activist

  164. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Alastair:

    The words “socialism works” make about as much sense together in a sentence as the words “Microsoft Works” – a great ideal that is hopelessly complicated, intrinsically corruptible, and inherently authoritarian. Show me an example, ANY example, where socialism and communism have actually worked in human history as they were intended. Stalin and Mao did not embody the Dictatorship of the Proletariat – they personified the Dictatorship of Madmen – and they were far less concerned with the dissolution of the state than they were with the amassing of power. Any system that assumes upon the complete and unquestioning good in all human beings is simply not tailored to work in a world that is, well, flawed.

    Capitalism is, at its core, an ideology that preserves the freedom of the individual to act as they will in the accumulation of wealth and happiness for themselves and their family, unencumbered by the state insofar as they do not act to the detriment of others. Thus, at its core, it is neither racist nor sexist. Compare this with the centralised and inhibitive nature of the communist state, where the wealth and wellbeing of the individual is entirely dependant on the mercy of a ‘benevolent’, all-controlling, demagogic Party, and can be taken away on a whim if one so much as utters a single word out of line with the ‘communist ideal’. Stalin deported millions of minorities to Gulags in Siberia, from which few of them returned. Call me crazy, but I fail to see the equality in that.

    Statistically, capitalism has done far more to reduce the divide between rich and poor than socialism ever has. Check out the works of leading economist Xavier Sala-i-Martin and the reports of the World Bank, which show a spectacular decline in poverty in Third World countries and a reduction in the income gap over the last thirty years – with, ironically enough, the biggest jump being in the decade and a half since the fall of the Soviet Union. The statistics speak for themselves.

    If you re-read the hundreds of posts on this topic so far, you will see that this is NOT a case of a small cadre of prudish conservatives getting up in arms about a *gasp* ‘naughty word’. This is about inappropriate behaviour – inappropriate because of the formality of the venue and the fact that Joel is meant to represent the entire student body at events like these. If I were to stride into the middle of a Workers’ Party meeting, whip out a megaphone, and start extolling the virtues of capitalism, would you consider that appropriate? Of course not. Men’s health issues are a very important issue, and I respect Joel for supporting the campaign – but when he is representing the student body on the penultimate day of their degree he should preserve at least a modicum of respect for the occasion.

    Sorry if this all sounds harsh, man, but when you launch an unprovoked attack against the system that has done more for the wellbeing of humankind than any other in history (as well as trying to tenuously pin every negative label you can find under the sun to it), what do you expect?

    Matt.

    P.S: I used a geeky computer metaphor and bagged out Microsoft in the same sentence – my day is complete!

  165. I think the best thing about all this isn’t what Joel’s wearing, but his expression. It screams, “Yeah, I love my dick. What of it?”

    Now, if we can open our imaginations for just a second and consider what the A-Team would’ve done…

  166. Aside from gutting student organizations so that there would have been no campaign of which to have a T-Shirt…

    I genuinely think Lukas et all would have respected the occasion.

  167. I think Lukas would have worn a robot costume. Because he’s a robot.

  168. I wasn’t really gunning for a matter-of-fact reply, but you’re probably right, Conrad.

    And Shitkicker, why would a robot need to wear a robot costume?

  169. Alister is a god says:

    Alister is my god, his poorly substantiated points “socialism works”, off topic ideas “…prudish losers… up in arms about the word “penis”…”. and ridiculous theories have won me over. HI-OH for the workers party, point me in the direction to sign up; it will be a double plus good time for all.

    P.S. a cocktail made of beer, bourbon and vodka is not recommended (yes it is a cocktail, coz it’s in a fancy glass)

  170. Michael Oliver, you just don’t think sometimes do you.

  171. joel crosgove to dress up in joel cosgrove costume so people will recognise that he’s joel cosgove

  172. popozao says:

    & blogette:
    your mean and twisted little mind should get back inside your straight-jacketed body, go scream at the padded walls, you miserable little bitch! You’ve caused enough havoc for the past decade, do not walk past my house again!

    Geez, get a nurofen and STFU you crazy nutbag.

  173. post doctor says:

    ‘Geez, get a nurofen and STFU you crazy nutbag.’

    post of the week

  174. Kerry says:

    Well, given that some of us do know who blogette is, and what a complete stalker she is, that comment stands.

    She does walk past my house, she does insult a close friend of mine incessantly, she is a bloody nuisance of 10 years’ standing.

    Conrad, you just weren’t around when this stuff happened, so STFU yourself.

    Grow up by another decade, FFS. Into secondary school EQ, for instance.

  175. Gibbon says:

    why wouldn’t blogette be allowed to walk past your house kerry

  176. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    Dear Kerry,
    Can you go one comment without saying something negative about the people who write for Salient.
    I think you it is you who needs to grow up. From what I read you’re in your late forties and you spend your time condescending people half your age.
    Could you please stop commenting on here. I will be emailing Tristan to ask him to block you. You bring nothing to the argument.

    PM

  177. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Peter Manglethwaite:

    Now hang on a minute – Kerry’s got as much a right to post here as does anybody else. Whilst her and I rarely agree on anything, I value her contributions and her arguments quite highly. And whilst I haven’t been on here nearly as long as some people, i’ve rarely known her to issue any personal insults unless she herself has been personally insulted first.

    There’s been plenty more users who have made far worse, and far less constructive, comments than she has.

    Matt.

  178. “Conrad, you just weren’t around when this stuff happened, so STFU yourself.”

    What the hell Kerry! Im _NOT_ popozao. I only EVER post under my own name, why the hell would I need a pseudonym? It sure isn’t to insult you, previously in this thread I did that under my own name. Why would I change….

    Good god Kerry… seriously. If you want to come up to the office so I can show you the different IPs, and then watch you apologize, feel free. I hope jumping to conclusions that are based purely on prejudice isn’t a trait all full time activists hold…

  179. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    matt
    her contributions are mired in spite and condescension. she is always the first to get on her high horse and say attack the idea, not the person, but then no matter what she writes it s so full of malice to the writers.
    case in point: http://www.salient.org.nz/features/global-warming-so-hot-right-now
    speaking to people as nice as Sarita like this, when she hasn’t been personally insulted is par for the course.
    i would value her contribution more if her comments were not peppered with hatred towards all those around her. she claims she is mature, so she should know the best way to fight fire, is not with fire, But with CO2.
    you’re right, there are plenty of other users on here who bring less, most of them have the descentcy to use a pseudonym to mask who it is. imagine if you wrote for Salient and this malignant woman who has the audiacity to engage in superciliously indulgent treatment, especially of those she considers inferior on this website, and she comes in, how uncomfortable would that make you feel? No one else seems to have the same problesm with the contributors of Salient than she does. None of the other contributors seem to fight like she does with everyone else.
    I don;t want her to put them off from writing. She should grow up, act her age and get a clue about interpersonal relationships.

    I do admire you standing up for her though.
    PM

  180. Brunswick says:

    Nine off-topic posts in a row = the end of useful debate.

  181. James Malthus says:

    Joel is a cock.

    We are now back on track people!

  182. Jackson Wood says:

    Comments are about to be turned off on here and moved to a new post… get in quick!

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