Crass materialism leapt brazenly out of the closet in New Zealand the 80s. Money-making was elevated to high social status beyond public service. An American import, the dominance of the mighty dollar had already taken root in other countries. Business finally reached the pinnacle of prestige. Business books proliferated: business management, business leadership, how to succeed in business and, of course, business-speak.
Category archive: Viewpoint
First an editorial confession. We’ve been in Oz, but no, there’s no ball tampering copy here, just this:
Condom machine graffiti: ‘ For refund, insert baby here’.
Aussies are not so much a weird as a witty mob at times. Where some residents with dogs might put up a sign saying ‘Beware of dog’, others choose to let passers-by know with much more precision. Take this for example: ‘My dog can make it to the fence in 2.8 seconds. Can you?’
Laurel Hubbard, the transgender weightlifter who will represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, appears to be determined to compete yet thoughtful about the concerns expressed by her detractors. She asks them to ‘look at the bigger picture,’ yet seems unsure if the current laws on transgender participation will remain or evolve, perhaps more in line with the perceptions of athletes who look upon her participation as cheating.
When you ride on an Auckland bus, there’s no such thing as a typical ride – not if you’re looking.
The entertainment is not so much in the city’s sport – that never-ending version of upmarket stock cars. A U-turn perhaps – just in front of the car speeding towards them? No worries. Drivers career backwards out of driveways into busy traffic lanes, or exit out of entrance ways to shopping centres. Quite a few fancy they can beat traffic lights too, often with predictable results. It’s Auckland.
Yesterday I put roll-on sunscreen on my armpits – somewhere that rarely sees the light — forgot the day of the week when looking up the tide times and couldn’t find my phone. I couldn’t call it since I had left the sound turned off after that disturbing movie about billboards.
Today I found the door left open all night (wide open, not just unlocked) and while cleaning out the cupboard discovered a couple of securely packed boxes labelled “jug” and “milk jug”. I assume I got them for my sister who likes jugs, but, worryingly, have absolutely no recollection of buying them.
Boxing promoters tend to tag their talent with silly names like The Brown Bomber (Joe Louis), Iron Mike (Tyson), The Real Deal (Evander Hollyfield), and perhaps the silliest, Tuaman, (New Zealand’s David Tua). Boxing is a jarring sport – our current brown hope, Joseph Parker, is about to find out just how jarring.
“We’re a species that… can study our own ability to be manipulated,” said Tristan Harris, a former ‘design ethicist’ at Google.
“We have to talk about the advertising-based business model, which, paired with artificial intelligence, poses an existential threat. We have to get really serious about this. If you think about where are the most powerful AIs in the world located right now? Arguably, at two companies: Google and Facebook. The most powerful AIs in the world.
To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. E.E. Cummings
Listen to your inner self!
During our busy year of meeting deadlines and juggling the demands and expectations of others and self, we can be left with little time for meaningful reflection of our lives.
After all, most of our energy is caught up in just keeping things going.
The advantage of the holiday period is that we get to have more relaxed time on our hands and this in turn connects us more to our inner selves.
Sometimes the stuff that spills out of old box files on their way to the bin, are not only worth remembering, but keeping.
One we found was Windows on Poverty, a 1992 Report from the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services on Poverty in New Zealand. It was well on its way to pile in one of those purges we hoarders are told we must do. But caught between the need to clear out stuff – and hoard, we once more hoarded. Why? So we don’t forget, so we don’t allow it to happen again. Not in Godzone.