The price of membership in the club.
Obviously Recognising that New Zealand is merely a client state may not be a comforting thought for many. It leaves us feeling impotent and ineffectual. This inadequacy might spill over into the way we approach other issues e.g. say our nation faced a huge binge drinking problem we might lose heart and give up the ghost. Instead of pouring resources into stemming the tide at its source we may instead resign ourselves to addressing contingent issues by throwing a couple of well toasted individuals onto the TV screen in a concerted effort to dissuade the drunk nation from frying whilst wasted.
Or say we as a nation faced an issue whereby 500 people were committing suicide annually, we may well hush it up, censor the media, and do so under the auspices of protecting the nation from the copycat effect. As if 500 deaths is some kind of notable success, as if the dependent incidents would somehow push a reasonable figure into the realms of the untenable.
With regards to this war, the core issue for me is not so much that (once again) our troops are being sent where and by whom and for what. The underlying question is how do we extricate ourselves from this club and/or these terms of membership.
So much for sovereignty.
It’s numbly reassuring to forget that just a few months back we were trying to make head or tail of the Operation Speargun/ Cortex kerfuffle following revelations that a low level NSA analyst had finger enough on the pulse of New Zealand’s Intelligence community processes to accurately name a program that had been considered for implementation by our own Government Communications Security Bureau, in that instance Key was bold enough with his “business case” response to freely admit to anyone paying attention just how compromised the sovereignty of our intelligence organizations is. On that note I do believe Key’s “price of the club” was once again one of his truer admissions.
I can understand that when faced with these type of home truths about New Zealand’s lack of sovereignty in matters of intelligence/defence/ law that some might find it preferable to seek solace in alternate realities. Alternate to the reality where NZ sent troops to hunt a Saudi in the wrong ‘stan. Alternate to the reality where NZ’s refusal to send ‘troops’ to ‘raq in 03 was not so much the norm as a blip on our foreign policy radar. Alternate to the reality where less than 50 years back we were still paying in pounds shillings and pence, distinct from sterling only since 1933. Alternate to the reality where less than a hundred years back we were still a dominion and that’s still one our leading newspapers. Alternate to a reality where we scoff down the Colonel’s chicken while tuning into The Walking Dead in which a fella from Bath convincingly plays a Georgian police sheriff, a fella from Liverpool the Governor. Alternate to the reality where the nations ‘founding’ Treaty was signed by various Māori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown. Alternate to the reality where a retrial is afoot due to a New Zealand judgement against a New Zealander being quashed by one of highest courts in the United Kingdom.
As I look out over the balcony I see a new landmark has sprung up between the toitoi and the apodasmia similis. This monument has been erected to remind us of our history and of who we are. Hot on the heels of eons of no monuments here, this eyesore doesn't recall the early whalers who worked from KiniKini nor the many ships that have been wrecked negotiating these shallow waters, nor even does it recall that it was overlooking this very beach that Ruawharo, having left the waka Takitimu, decided to settle.
Nice documenting Soon Lee, I had a wee chuckle at your description of the hold up at the traffic light. ‘Stop the Clock’ is my favorite.
Articles dealing with the legal implications aside, it’s been quite remarkable to see this glut of journalists lining up to hurl their neatly bundled journalistic reputations onto the bonfire – a show of hands to fill positions at Woman’s Day and the like.
Uploading to a Social media network used by 2.7m New Zealanders, for voyeurs to actively click on, is one thing. Making an editorial decision to go front page with this for days on end for the benefit of the rest of us is some next level shit.
Anyone who’s been cheated on knows its hard enough hearing that news from a friend let alone it being broadcast for all and sundry. Over a week later journalists are still going to lengths to rub salt into that wound.
Doing the deed in Parliament as a scrub is what it is, dishing the dirt on yourself rocking the coitus in Bowen House for an op-ed piece mid-career occupies a time and space beyond levels, it’s delightfully Al Pacinoesque: “This is where I work and this is where I FUCK!”. Many would save something that sensitive for the memoirs, but it would appear Garner’s balls are unstoppable. No doubt Slater is kicking himself.
All hot on the heels of the previous week’s Eleanor Catton kerfuffle, the average kiwi could be forgiven for overlooking a Waitangi day announcement by our dear PM confirming that he’s anti-black, or for simply forgetting that the prospect of New Zealand going to war looms imminent.
Still, to the journos, if actual news isn’t quite your style and you’d prefer to be offering opinions, dominating the national discourse with triviality, reaping those hits, stirring up saucy debate, dancing on the graves of marriages, relationships, and our public offices, then congratulations on these, your mighty and profound career defining ejaculations.
Oh, you mean the 1970’s where The Truth maliciously “outed” Marilyn Waring,
Specifically that 1970s when – technology lacking – this type of parasitic behaviour was more or less exclusively the domain of scumbag ‘professionals’, as opposed to a practice willfully emulated by hoards of amateurs for shits and giggles.
I certainly don’t mean to imply that – at our periphery – we as a species have ever been any less ugly, but it would appear that in various periods the general population have – for whatever reasons – been less inclined to pursue this ugliness ad nauseum.
Obviously the trends can’t evolve in isolation; the evolving technology functions as an outlet for antecedent desires just as the technology driven media stimulates them. Neither you nor I are old enough to comment with much authority on the ‘spirit’ of the 1970s, though our elders offer inklings. Grant’s anecdotes above, though more recent, paint a fabulously contrasting picture.
Why the 70s? Cellphones were widely adopted in the 80s, nothing more, I’m still working on reining in my quips. From my scant knowledge I can’t imagine many would single that decade out as any kind of high point for humanity.
As I know you well know, the media have long been prone to scraping the bottom of the barrel, since the get-go most probably, which is why I think you’re so right to go there Craig; where this kind of trash would once – I assume – have been almost exclusively “Truth” territory, it now seems to have ‘gone viral’; ripe pickings for more or less the entire MSM.
P.S I love your pic
Absolutely Lilth __, what are we coming to as a species? Vigilante wannabe secret agents. I appreciated Pam Corkery’s bemoaning of the ’broadcasters’ and especially your succinctness:
Peeps can choose to be kind.
Possibly not what Pumkinhead had in mind but.
Imagine if no one had got their phone out. Imagine if the pub-crowd had merely had a giggle and a good story to tell their families when they got home.
…has the makings of a winning tourism advertisement targeting those planning a trip to the 1970s
I find that by putting it out there about the dyslexia helps.
For sure Steven, I’m surrounded by it; a good friend, my sister and I suspect my wife too. With the friend, she’d known from quite a young age, I didn’t really cotton on to the fact with my sister (who I’d just assumed didn’t sweat the small stuff) until she made an announcement over a recent rare game of scrabble, and only then could I see it. And with my wife, dysgraphia is pronounced specifically in her English usage: which I only tentatively infer due to the fact that in my experience Chinese students are – generally speaking – impeccable spellers of English to the extent that they’d put a lot of native users to shame (?):
” Other languages, such as Spanish, have mostly alphabetic orthographies that employ letter-sound correspondences, so-called shallow orthographies, making them relatively easy to learn. English, by comparison, presents more of a challenge. Logographic writing systems, notably Japanese and Chinese characters, have graphemes that are not linked directly to their pronunciation, which pose a different type of difficulty to the dyslexic learner. Different neurological deficits may cause varying degrees of difficulty in learning one writing system when compared to another, as the neurological skills required to read, write, and spell can vary between systems.”
In many ways this form seems almost like the natural response to the insanity that is the English spelling system. Perhaps obliquely, as a left-hander I feel a sense of solidarity with dyslexics, struggling with the often arbitrary orthodoxy we're ensconced within, so I’m sorry if you may have felt like I was having a go at you, not my intention at all, I’m in no position to.
Perhaps you were misdiagnosed and aren’t dyslexic at all Steven, perhaps your English is simply of another time and another place.
A time and place when a Tesla left us awestruck as opposed to merely being something we purchase to drive through gullies.
Responding to Catton’s comments, Prime Minister John Key said he was disappointed she felt that way”
Disappointed that she nailed his entire being in a single sentence more like:
Catton criticised New Zealand as a country led by "neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture".