Isnâ€™t about time Standard New Zealand English began giving PÄkehÄ a capital â€˜Pâ€™. I do as a matter of course, but in some publications I avoid using writing word in articles because they insist on editing my capital â€˜Pâ€™ to a lower case â€˜pâ€™. MÄori always gets a capital â€˜Mâ€™. New Zealander has a capital â€˜Nâ€™ and â€˜Zâ€™. If one is big enough to take on an identifying collective identity from another language, one deserves a capital letter like any proper noun. Is it some kind of subliminal reverse racism or what? Iâ€™m not really a European any more than a white American is. The peoples of North Africa and South-Western Asia are just as Caucasian as I am, and anyway itâ€™s a fairly archaic and bogus definition vaguely suggestive of outmoded theory of race. Iâ€™m sure as Bears shit in the woods that Iâ€™m not English, Scottish or Irish; I have a culture as distinct from the Anglo-Celtic rootstock as the Burghers in Sri Lanka and the Afrikaners in South Africa are from the Dutch, and the Americans/Canadians/Australians are from the Brits â€“ and since we are a bicultural state who pays more than lip-service to the first colonisers, PÄkehÄ is quite OK by me as a description/brand name, but let the campaign to capitalise its initial begin here.
Isnâ€™t it sad that Sam Hunt, the great wandering minstrel (tit-willow tit-willow) of NZ counterculture, is whoring his Muse to that bastion of colonial bourgeois values, Cobb & Co family restaurants? SHAME! SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME! Do you suppose he writes the ads himself? SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!!! That bloody ad pops up with the frequency of John Key on Breakfast.
I understand Julie Christie is making another Celebrity Treasure Island, whereby a celebrity is some middle-aged has-beens from Auckland with drug convictions, cavorting their wrinkly, decaying, once-athletic flesh around in their undergruts. She recycles the same ones again and again and again (mainly because they are all unemployable and Dancing With the Stars considers itself too classy to put up with the egos) â€“ so I guess itâ€™s a low-brow version of the Walters Prize. Perhaps we should relocate the Walters Prize to a tropical island where the artists have to fight each other for food (sort of like a student flat really) and the losers have to go and stay at a resort until the last artist is standing. Feel free to nominate artists for the Crusoe treatment, who they should team up with, and who would be most likely to survive.
Quite frankly Iâ€™ve had a complete gutsfull of people whinging about how much public money gets spent on public art that could be otherwise spent on hospital beds or the poor. This is nonsense anyway as very little public money ever goes into public art (getting state or civic government to agree on anything is like herding cats) and the vast majority comes from private sponsorship. Public arts funding is a bit like the gold leaf on a Byzantine icon; it doesnâ€™t really exist as a commodity so much as an aesthetic metaphor for worth. The amount of money a group of organisations and corporations is prepared to cough up, directly represents how sophisticated a community actually is. The one or two million dollars gathered together is not going to go far toward a CAT scanner or feeding the poor â€“ that is why such things get factored into the main operating budget of government. To put it into a more human perspective, if you won the lottery, you wouldnâ€™t leave it all in the bank for a rainy day or spend it all on life insurance; a surplus is cream. And even if you didnâ€™t win the lottery, sometimes you just have to splurge on a holiday on the Gold Coast or a flat screen TV. Anyway, given a widespread predisposition to philistinism, the arts (part of the good mental health of any community) should be considered a worthy charity.
One rather suspects that smoking pot is a Rastafarian sacrament because you would have to be stoned to believe a tin-pot third-world dictator like Haile Selassie to be the Messiah. This is perhaps why I was never able to take Nandor seriously as a Member of Parliament;
â€œNandor, do you accept the observably deceased Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie to be your personal saviour?â€
â€œBut you do realise that the Jamaican descendents of African slaves who founded Rastafarianism, selected Selassie to be the Messiah only because he represented the longest, though decidedly dubious, example of independent African dynastic rule they could think of?â€
â€œAnd yet sir, you are not, to put it delicately, of the dark-complexioned African persuasion (though few if any of the Jamaicans were of Ethiopian extraction), and thus are unlikely to be able to appreciate the horrific burden of knowing your ancestors were not only deported unwillingly from their homes, but enslaved â€“ being accorded the status of chattels rather than human beings – and horribly abused. Is you Ali G?â€
â€œOr is it basically a justification for smoking the ganja? Take that tea cosy off your head and go knit a composting toilet from your beard hair you Eastern European fraud of the pretentious hippy fetish.â€
While it is very sad that John Lennon was gunned down, I canâ€™t help but think if he had lived he would have been only another naive, patronising, moralising, boring middle-aged twat like Bono or Bob Geldoff. I have no respect at all for some arse who thinks lying around in bed with the missus all day is going to save the world. I mean, really, what have the Beatles been good for since? Paul is one of those bleating vego-nazis, George is dead, and I donâ€™t think Ringo is even doing Thomas the Tank Engine any more. We may well have been spared far worse. Well nearly. Q: What is small, makes horrible high-pitched shrieking noises for song, and lives off dead Beatles? A: Yoko Ono. Didnâ€™t she use to be something to do with Fluxus before she decided to destroy the worldâ€™s first supergroup? What an extraordinary conceptual performance piece; was that her plan all along?
TV ads for universities; could they get any more painful? Otago is still sticking to its self-view as the â€˜funâ€™ university with some old-fashioned stereotypes and an excruciatingly naff â€˜NZ musicâ€™ theme-song. Auckland had that painful little gonk prancing around kissing the arses of moderately successful graduates, with that sad little tag line about how great it was to see New Zealanders making a place for themselves in the world â€“ as if he would be anyone to judge. Canterbury gets the award for the most boring ad; interviewing current students. If it was me, I would go for some vaguely Euro-pop background music blended with some straight shots of the facilities and a sensible voice-over; not all of this annoying Gen Y crap.