MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

The “I’m Cranky” Speech

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 2:35 pm Tue 1st March 2016

Many years ago Australian Lawyer Michael Green came to New Zealand to promote his book.

I don’t recall the name of the book, but I do recall the speech he gave in Wellington.

The “I’m Cranky” speech.

I’m sure you will recall the speech if you were there. He repeated that statement about 20 times during the speech.

The speech left a lasting impression on me – I remember that he was cranky – nothing else, just that he was cranky.

If I could, I would read that speech again, to see how I feel now about what he said then.

I wonder if he still has it?

What I remember about this speech, was that it was a series of isolated statements that in the end remained just that. They did not paint a picture for me, that left me with an understanding as to why he was cranky, just that he was cranky about a lot of things.

Only Michael knew in his mind how these all fitted together, if they did in fact fit together, or whether they were just a bunch of things that pissed him off.

He was a lawyer, speaking to a room full of men (and maybe a woman or two) not to a court room.

Was it a well intentioned communication failure?

Was it me that was not getting his message?

If you were there that day, what are your thoughts on the “I’m Cranky” speech.


  1. Michael Green’s book was titled “Fathers After Divorce”. I wrote a review in the December 1999 MENZ Issues. There used to be a website for the book, but it is now long out-of-print.

    There are some pictures and a couple of short videos of a meeting organised by the Shared Parenting Trust in September 2000 (I think in Auckland) at which Michael Green spoke.

    Michael also visited NZ the following year to attend the launch of the Union of Fathers in Wellington.

    I don’t remember which of the speeches he told us he was “cranky”. I note that in one of the videos he told us that “language is important”.

    Please note that these web pages were made before the site was converted to WordPress, and my videos were heavily compressed because they needed to be downloaded at dial-up speed of 56 kbit/s.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Wed 9th March 2016 @ 2:40 pm


    Maybe not word perfect, but I can still remember the speech I gave that night, because it was based on the delight of a learning child and the surprise of his father, who was a friend of mine.

    There was a man off to my right, in the hall, quietly taking photos, and I sincerely hope that he remembers what I said to him that night, when I gave a presentation to his wife.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 9th March 2016 @ 5:47 pm

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