You know you're in a messed up place when Vladimir Putin is gentleman of the week. I've always thought the Russian President looked like a garden gnome. Admittedly he'd be a threatening gnome. Like one that would ride the cat into the vegetable patch and make it pee on the carrots.
But have you seen him graciously drape a cold First Lady in a shawl? That's how real Russian men do it. (Real Russian men obviously carry an emergency shawl on their key ring.)
Normally, whatever he did, I'd be vaguely unimpressed by him. But this week, he's practically Prince Charming dipped in chocolate and sprinkles.
This is because this week, most of the mainstream world was introduced to Julien Blanc. He's the pick-up artist who advises men to pick up women by choking them. He's the man who promises to teach men how to overcome last minute resistance to sex - that is, how to have sex with someone who doesn't consent.
He's the guy who filmed himself going through Tokyo, grabbing women's heads and throwing them on his crotch, yelling "Pikachu!".
He's a guy to whom even Robin Thicke would say, "Whoa. Dude. What the hell?".
He was due to appear in Melbourne this week but there was widespread campaigning and protests to revoke his visa. And in a fit of previously well-hidden sense, the Australian Government did just that.
Even though he had to leave, he bequeathed a raging debate over whether he should have been kicked out. Some people like me were dancing and shouting "PRAISE JESUS, HE'S GONE". Others turned scarlet and spouted Voltaire; "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I defend to the death your right to say it!"
The debate has turned global. Which is not surprising because Julien Blanc is on a world tour right now. He's heading to Tokyo on November 15. Then he's planning to descend on the UK and Canada. So countries around the world are being forced to consider where they stand on Blanc.
Forbes weighed in. The Guardian weighed in. But where would New Zealand stand? Would we refuse him a visa? And does it violate freedom of speech to do so?
To my mind, rejecting Blanc doesn't say, "You can't say that". It says, "You can't say that here".
We're letting him spout a perverted, sexist, violent guide to harassment and subjugation of women.
We're just saying that he can't do that here. He has the internet to let those opinions loose on.
So the question is, does a country have a right to say, "I have authority over this space. I decide what happens in this space. I have decided you cannot say that here"?
In normal life, we definitely respect that right.
If, at our family Christmas party some guy starts hitting loudly and obnoxiously on my mum, my dad would throw them out.
Everyone would breathe a sigh of relief and have a grape on a stick. It would be the right thing to do. You can say that, but you can't say that in our house.
What if an editor refused to publish an article arguing that women were the spawn of Satan? That's a restriction of free speech. But you'd say he's allowed to control the image of his magazine, right?
So we seem to agree that the person in charge of a space has the right to set the space's rules. The idea that you can spout crap, but you can't spout it here, seems to be an accepted common law moral.
Does this apply to a country?
I can't see why not. The people of a country say, "You can't say that here". The Government responds to this, like in Melbourne, and the people rule. It's the same situation that happens every day. Except a lot of people say it.
Is there legal justification for this?
Immigration law states that "a visa may be refused to any person who is, or is likely to be, a threat or risk to public order; or is likely to be, a threat or risk to the public interest".
Does that apply here? I reckon. His opinions and teachings give the strong impression he'd be a risk to public interest. And that he'd teach others to do the same.
Have you seen the videos he promoted of himself choking women on the street? Or grabbing their heads and pulling them on to his privates? Or him holding down and kissing a squirming Tokyo shop worker?
These all sound like sexual assault. And they sound like he would be a threat to the public interest whatever country he ended up in.
But what these laws confirm is that New Zealand has the right to lay down home rules. And with Julien Blanc it's the people leading the fight to define their country's home rules.
If the people don't have the right to decide the rules of their country ... then who does?