The Dim-Post

February 12, 2012

Pathos alert

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 9:24 am

Twitter and the blogosphere are abuzz about Paul Holmes’ post-Waitangi day rant. You can read it here. The phrase ‘tired and emotional’ springs to mind. It’s not exactly news that Holmes is a bitter, ignorant racist, but I really like this tangent at the end of the piece:

Overseas, just to change the subject and keep an elegant internationalism in the column, can you believe Russia’s and China’s intransigence at the United Nations Security Council on the matter of Syria?

So now Syria will grind on in broken, abject misery for the rest of the year until they shoot the despot.

I can’t figure old rat-face Bashir. He must know that he’s going the way of Gaddafi, with a refuge in a filthy sewer pipe for a while before the bullet in the head, being towed backwards through the streets to public display in a meat locker.

He’s married to a very beautiful British woman, Bashir, a real English rose. One report suggested she and her family had tried to leave Syria last week but the convoy had been seen and turned back.

She must know what’s coming. Armageddon is what’s coming. One dreads to imagine what they’ll do to her pretty face.

Remind me to light candles for Eva Braun and Clara Petacci next VE day. They were the real victims. (Obviously the sub-text here is also racial: Holmes is mortified that a white person might be harmed in the midst of all this incidental bloodshed.)

I like the Herald. It’s a really good newspaper, but I’m not sure why they keep publishing this sort of content. According to the latest Neilson figures (via DPF) their readership dropped by 5%, and it seems likely that their penchant for publishing racist and misogynistic material (although they’ve now dropped Garth George) plays a role in that.

Also, too, I like it that our ‘National Day’ is rather fraught. In most countries, the National Day is about celebrating exceptionalism, which is kind of stupid when every nation in the world insists that they’re the best. Waitangi Day reminds us that we’re still a work in progress.

45 Comments »

  1. To most New Zealanders Waitangi Day is a public holiday (when it doesn’t fall on a weekend day), and a media platform for the same old protesters somewhere in the far north, where insulting politicians (by other political operators) prevails.

    Remarkable that wider New Zealand is distinterested in a spectacle of politicians being insulted, probably due to the insulters being disliked more than the insultees.

    Comment by Pete George — February 12, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  2. i was kind of hopeful when the Herald got rid of Garth George and said they were heading for a new direction in their op ed page that it might get better. Sadly, their new direction is obviously more of the same.

    Although, just think, if we celebrated NZ day then we could make videos like this about it: http://uncomfortablebeats.com/2012/01/24/rap-news-australia-day/

    Comment by Amy — February 12, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  3. Work in progress is fine, but we need another day to celebrate the good things. We ought to slide Queen’s birthday along a couple of weeks (it isn’t her real birthday anyway) and rename it Maatariki.
    Some of us celebrate Maatariki already, but it would be a good way to endorse something that is apolitical and uniquely New Zealand.

    Comment by Roger Parkinson (@RogerParkinson) — February 12, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  4. I especially liked this juxtaposition …

    “Well, it’s a bullshit day, Waitangi. It’s a day of lies.”

    Followed a few paragraphs later with:

    “Our national day is now Anzac Day. Anzac Day is a day of honour, and struggle, bravery and sacrifice.”

    Dulce et decorum est, etc, etc.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — February 12, 2012 @ 9:52 am

  5. We should add in another public holiday…Parihaka Day. Remember that we too tried to exterminate an entire race, and celebrate that they responded with non-violence (long, long before Ghandi or Martin Luther King) and as a result we are not Syria, or Iraq or Israel. Nor that’s worth remembering and that’s worth celebrating.

    Comment by sunny — February 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  6. Pete, do you find it easier to manage these sorts of (still) exigent issues by reducing them to something as simple and insulter/insultee?

    And, for the record, you don’t speak for me when you attest to know the thoughts of ‘wider New Zealand’. I personally prefer that people take opportunities to hold those in power to account, and aren’t the celebrations at Waitangi perhaps the most appropriate forum to do this in this instance? Or is it better that we reduce free speech to nothing where politicians’ sensibilities may be adversely impacted?

    Actually, you don’t need to answer any of these – let’s call them rhetorical insults, and you can play the holier-than-thou ‘insultee’.

    Comment by Patrick — February 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  7. What is New Zealander’s preoccupation with humble modesty? Why are we not allowed to celebrate success? God forbid that we should actually feel good about our country.

    Instead people say that we are “celebrating exceptionalism” – another way of flagging the Tall Poppy Syndrome. While I agree that we need to sort out our problems as a nation, why are we not allowed one day from our supreme overlord, Danyl McL, to enjoy our country and revel in New Zealand-ness? Is there something wrong with a fierce pride in your country and culture? One would have expected us to try and cultivate a fierce pride as we move forward as a very multi-racial soceity – not just Maori and pakeha but all hues and cultures.

    Why so sad, Danyl?

    Comment by XChequer — February 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  8. Some of us celebrate Maatariki already, but it would be a good way to endorse something that is apolitical and uniquely New Zealand.

    You think Mātariki is apolitical?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — February 12, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  9. Actually, Patrick, I think Peter has a point (not often said, but there you go).

    There is a general apathy – especially down here in the south that people are just over the annual bollocks. They look at it with the same cynicism as the “annual pilgramage” to Ratana. How does Ratana affect other people – a small movement of 60,000 people – the polies might be better off giving a speech in front of the rotarians. I think they have more members.

    While I think Holmes is an old curmudgeon, a great many people see Waitangi day as one for journalists to bray, pseudo-intellectuals to hand-wring, The Harawira’s to plot while the rest of us sleep in.

    Comment by XChequer — February 12, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  10. @Graeme Edgeler: What do you consider to be political about Mātariki ? The call to move Queen’s Birthday a couple of weeks is probably political, but that’s not the same as Mātariki being political. Is New Year’s political ?

    Personally, I’d like to move the fire festival (Guy Fawke’s) to Matariki so we can enjoy our fireworks at a time of year when the risks are lessened.

    Comment by mikaerecurtis — February 12, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  11. Anzac Day, Parihaka Day, Maatariki Day, all have other meanings and connotations. Only one of them means much to me, and I’d prefer that remained as it is. We won’t be able to touch Queens Birthday with so much monarchy fans still cheering Liz along.

    We should have a day we can celebrate New Zealand and New Zealanders as a whole. It needs a ddicated day rather than attaching to something else.

    Comment by Pete George — February 12, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  12. @Patrick: I personally prefer that people take opportunities to hold those in power to account,

    I prefer that too, There are ample opportunities aren’t there? Blogs and other social media, letters to editors, opposition parties in parliament. TV are always after public dissenters to spice up their ‘news’. We also have elections every now and then.

    and aren’t the celebrations at Waitangi perhaps the most appropriate forum to do this in this instance?

    Waitangi has a tradition of protest, perhaps that is what it will always symbolise. But many people don’t enjoy it so it looks like it will never be a national day of celebration.

    Or is it better that we reduce free speech to nothing where politicians’ sensibilities may be adversely impacted?

    Aren’t there appropriate (and inappropriate) times and places? I may want to protest against the Mana party but I wouldn’t consider trying to hijack an electorate meeting or annual conference. I wouldn’t consider doing a rant raid on the annual poli pilgrimage to Ratana.

    Do you think anything goes when it comes to ‘free speech’?

    Comment by Pete George — February 12, 2012 @ 10:46 am

  13. I’m living in Oz these days, and the negative press the Prime Minister receives is astounding: it aligns, with fewer of the same adjectives, the same level of invective as Holmes brings to his piece. However, I have come to recognise it as pure unalterable sexism. The Australian Press and its columnists under contract just hate she is a woman. Helen Clark never faced quite the same level of discriminatory press and for that I am proud to be a Kiwi.

    What I took from Homes’ piece is the position he takes vis a vis John Key – he shouldn’t have to face such opposition because he is the PM. Where was Holmes when the former PM faced such opposition? Defending her right to not turn up and be treated like that? No, complaining because she had a few tears once…. so all you chappies responding above should think about that. It might focus your thoughts on what Waitangi Day should be for New Zealanders not just the poor PM.

    Comment by Grumpy Woman — February 12, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  14. @8 “You think Mātariki is apolitical?”

    I’ve yet to hear otherwise, do tell if you know different.

    @11 “We won’t be able to touch Queens Birthday with so much monarchy fans still cheering Liz along.”

    Well, we could still call it Queen’s Birthday as well, I guess. That would keep the monarchists happy. Remember, it isn’t her birthday so the day is chosen for our convenience.

    @10 “Personally, I’d like to move the fire festival (Guy Fawke’s) to Matariki so we can enjoy our fireworks at a time of year when the risks are lessened.”

    The fireworks thing is a serious opportunity, actually. We could maybe set the precedent that public fireworks displays are the place to be and tighten up the sale of private fireworks at GF day, allowing it to wither and die. Nanny state, I know, but private fireworks cause a lot of misery and are pretty pathetic compared to the professional displays IMHO. Anyway, GF is a dumb time of year to do fireworks esp now daylight savings kicks in. The kids have to stay up late for it to get dark.

    Comment by Roger Parkinson (@RogerParkinson) — February 12, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  15. But, bloody but, Garth has been bequeathed to our paper, the BOP Times on a Saturday and it’s more of the same same same………..

    Comment by pdogge — February 12, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  16. Sunny said “Remember that we too tried to exterminate an entire race”.

    What absolute horse shit – why this sort of bollocks goes unchallenged amazes me.

    Ironic too, that you bring up Parihaka given that Taranaki Maori came the closest to all out genocide – the 1835 slaughtering of Chatham Island Moriori and enslaving of the surviviors – out of any group in NZ history.

    Comment by Tussock — February 12, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  17. @Grumpy Woman: The Australian Press and its columnists under contract just hate [Gillard] is a woman. Helen Clark never faced quite the same level of discriminatory press and for that I am proud to be a Kiwi.

    I think Clark did get slammed a lot for being a woman as a cheap way to get rid of Labour once people started disliking it for other reasons. Gillard’s probably also suffering from being female, but her bigger problem is that by pushing a carbon tax, she’s put herself against the entire Australian mining industry, which is a massive PR and lobbying juggernaut. Take a look at this commercial, for instance, which has been playing on Australian TV as part of a series, and which is an attempt to get more of female political support for an industry which (at 16%) employs the second lowest proportion of women in Australia after construction. And the message elsewhere is that if you’re supporting the Australian Mining industry, you pretty much hate Julia Gillard.

    Comment by MikeM — February 12, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

  18. Personally I don’t read much racism from the pulled section – so he doesn’t like Bashir, but that could quite clearly be for political reasons. What I do dislike is his framing of the wife as this innocent apolitical bystander trophy wife whose main value as a human being is in her beauty and “pretty face.” I read the reference to her as British as a way to position her outside of the politics of Syria…but I can see how that could also be read in a racial way.

    Comment by Zo Zhou — February 12, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  19. @Pete: “We should have a day we can celebrate New Zealand and New Zealanders as a whole. It needs a ddicated day rather than attaching to something else.”

    I’m not really convinced that changing the date of a ‘national day’ would make much difference, given that significant parts of the population still think the founding of New Zealand was an insult that’s left them underprivileged and discriminated against? Until that’s properly resolved, I can’t see much changing. The date isn’t the problem here. It’s the celebration of New Zealand as a nation.

    Comment by MikeM — February 12, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  20. What do you consider to be political about Mātariki ? The call to move Queen’s Birthday a couple of weeks is probably political, but that’s not the same as Mātariki being political. Is New Year’s political ?

    Most people promoting the celebration of Mātariki seem to do so out of a nationalist* mindset. It could be (or become) a day that is celebrated in a way that doesn’t have a political feel to it, but at the moment it’s not. ANZAC Day could be a day on which we simply remember the horror of war, but that isn’t currently the case either.

    *the word choice seems both right and wrong, but I couldn’t quickly come up with a word that seemed only right.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — February 12, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  21. Remember that even though asaids wife is british she is from a sunni family from syria

    Comment by graham lowe — February 12, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

  22. You’d think a columnist who knows so little about what’s going on in a particularly country that he can’t even get the name of its dictator right would shy away from blathering foolishly about it. Not Holmes, though – only Michael Laws and Garth George share his fearless willingness to make a cunt of himself.

    Actually Paul, yes, those of us not suffering whatever mental disability you, Laws etc seem to share can believe China and Russia’s intransigence in the Security Council, because the govts of those countries have a fairly obvious and unsurprising interest in not encouraging oppressed communities to take up arms against the tyrants oppressing them, not to mention significant economic interests with Syria or Iran (yes Paul, Iran is relevant but no, I don’t expect you to have a clue why) that they’d prefer not to be damaged.

    While we’re at it, Asma al Assad is hardly a “real English rose,” given her parents were both Syrians. Fear not, Paul, no white woman will be harmed if Asma ends up like Clara Petacci.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — February 12, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  23. If we want a new national day we should look at combining all the provincal anniversary days into one day. After all who aside from the book worms knows what the provinces were?

    Comment by millsy — February 12, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  24. “I like the Herald. It’s a really good newspaper…”

    By what possible standard is the Herald “a really good newspaper”? I suppose it can hold its head up next to the Northern Advocate and maybe even the Waikato Times. But it’s not even the best or most informative daily newspaper in New Zealand – that faint praise damns the Dom Post. The Herald is a terrible paper – a bland farrago of magazine-style features and celebrity gossip. It shows why newspapers are dying, and why I’m not in the least bit sorry.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — February 12, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  25. Quite right Danyl.

    I can’t believe the bloody Herald doesn’t publish only left wing opinions!

    Comment by Johnboy — February 12, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

  26. @23 millsy
    no! leave Hawkes Bay Anniversary alone! We who live in Hawkes Bay enjoy celebrating our anniversary on the Friday before Labour Day. We have a lovely long four day weekend at the start of the warmer weather.

    Comment by HB — February 12, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

  27. Millsy wrote: “If we want a new national day we should look at combining all the provincal anniversary days into one day. After all who aside from the book worms knows what the provinces were?”

    This wouldn’t go down very well in Christchurch (unless the compromise was to make Canterbury Anniversary day the national holiday, in which case they’d probably be fine with it).

    Higgs Boatswain asked: “By what possible standard is the Herald “a really good newspaper”?”

    you can wrap absolutely oodles of fish and chips in it.

    Comment by kahikatea — February 12, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  28. Graeme Edgeler wrote: “Most people promoting the celebration of Mātariki seem to do so out of a nationalist* mindset.”

    I like it because it is based on the New Zealand seasons. Too many of our celebrations (Christmas, New Year, Easter, Halloween) developed out of seasonal celebrations that are divorced from their meaning here because they’re aligned with northern hemisphere seasons.

    Comment by kahikatea — February 12, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  29. Bear in mind this is the same Paul Holmes who’s whacked off to Sarah Palin.

    Comment by DeepRed — February 12, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  30. >In most countries, the National Day is about celebrating exceptionalism, which is kind of stupid when every nation in the world insists that they’re the best. Waitangi Day reminds us that we’re still a work in progress.

    I agree. It’s a far more useful day to commemorate. It is also a celebration, there is still an element of exceptionalism in it – it’s quite a unique agreement. Unfortunately the history that followed it was rather familiar looking in terms of indigenous people getting fucked over. Both of those things are worth remembering.

    A similar thing happens for me on ANZAC day. It’s usually promoted as an occasion to celebrate, but I always feel very sad on it, because it is also remembering the most colossal failures of the human race, resorting to utter barbarity as a way of working things out.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 13, 2012 @ 12:41 am

  31. Enough of Pathos – I want to know what happened to the other musketeers. No ever speaks of them. . . .

    Comment by Eric Blair — February 13, 2012 @ 6:56 am

  32. We always observed ANZAC day as kids growing up in a small West Coast town. The men marching into the big old church would make the building swing and then out on the streets afterwards we would look in all directions for others, with and their different flocks trailing behind, to march to all join up at the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall. My Dad would play the Last Post. I would stare in amazement at the drycleaner and the baker and the school teachers transformed for that day only into men who could march, and ‘present arms’ and who had done who knows what when they were young.

    There was no celebration. It was all dreadfully sad and awe inspiring. It usually rained and the women would fuss over the WW1 returned servicemen who were ‘catching their deaths’ as a result, as if West Caost rain could despatch someone who had survived the Somme or Ypres.

    Then the men would go off to the pubs and get rolling drunk and the families would go home to await their arrival hours later, with dread in many cases.

    While there was talk of their having ‘saved us’ we seemed to have grasped that we got the right to vote, by struggling against ‘our betters’ not the Nazis or Kaiser Bill. So our families would refer to women ‘winning the vote’ rather than being ‘given the vote’. The nuns taught the struggle for Irish Independence with Irish accents.

    I feel that ANZAC Day now has been hijacked by the militarists. War is glorified. History is rewritten. The SAS, probably implicated in Iraqi war crimes, is elevated to Battle of Britain pilots’ status. The Poppies are made in China and some years ago the President of the RSA in a local small town said that it would be ok if the National Front representatives came to the dawn parade. Although, as he said he ‘had never heard of them, they were welcome…so long as they were well dressed and behaved themselves.’

    Comment by sunny — February 13, 2012 @ 7:24 am

  33. Just read the Holmes article. I had seen but not read it before because I expected the opinion peice to be, well… pretty much exactly how it was.

    This is the line that made the biggest impression on me:

    “It is too awful and nasty and common.”

    The use of the term ‘common’ as an epithet speaks volumes to me. Firstly it speaks of an ingrained British upper class mentality. Secondly in the context of a race based article denigrating Maori for things that have nothing to do with Waitangi (how do truancy rates have anything to do with our national holiday?) it says something about how he views his own race – superior.

    One of the wierd doublethink phenomena in New Zealand is that so many pakeha hold such transparently supremacist views about our own race yet seem to do this funny role reversal transferance thing where Maori are described as a priveleged aristocracy with special rights while poor hard done by pakeha are the innocent victims “It’s all about hating whitey” as Holmes would say.

    Comment by Richard29 — February 13, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  34. I second the motion for big fireworks displays at Matariki, and possibly even a long weekend. I’d like to see some private fireowrks for sale at the time, and further limit any at Guy Fawkes, so we can leave GF behind hopefully.

    An definitely replace it with Parihaka day!

    Comment by Aaron — February 13, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  35. I had seen but not read it before because I expected the opinion peice to be, well… pretty much exactly how it was.

    The HoS header should have read ‘Smug, rich, white, sour old has-been and D-lister froths about something’.

    Fire that sub-editor.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 13, 2012 @ 10:25 am

  36. Not that it shouldn’t be recognised maybe more than it is or that fireworks shouldn’t be blasted around on other occasions, but Matariki is meant to be marked by an occasion of first seeing Matariki (aka the Pleiades) rising in the dawn sky. Smothering the sky with bright lights and smoke from a giant fireworks display on such an occasion feels more than a little wrong to me. It’d be more appropriate to have something involving fewer lights. I’m an amateur astronomer in one of my other lives so I’m clearly biased.

    Comment by MikeM — February 13, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  37. Which matariki? Maori have different views on when it is. Some prefer puanga as the New Year

    Comment by insider — February 13, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  38. @Patrick: And, for the record, you don’t speak for me when you attest to know the thoughts of ‘wider New Zealand’.

    I wasn’t claiming to speak for everyone, but I think I was reflecting widespread sentiment. If you go back to the Holmes article on The Herald website the number of comments and ‘Likes’ of comments (unusually high from what I’ve seen) would suggest that the fed up sentiment is indeed widespread – although there is also sizable alternate view’s ‘Likes’ as well.

    Comment by Pete George — February 13, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  39. Yes, because the percentage of the Herald readership that elects to comment on any particular editorial is highly representative of widespread sentiment in New Zealand.

    Comment by Simon Poole — February 13, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  40. I propose we simply change the ‘Day after new years day’ public holiday to ‘New Zealand Day’.

    Think of it a little like the best bit’s of Australia Day:
    We’ll get NZ Cricket to arrange a Test Match to start that morning, and have the commentary live on Radio sport, the Mad Butcher will be subsidised to provide free saussies and cost-price stakes for BBQ’s, and everyone that had a shitty NY eve gets a second chance to make ammends.

    All will be well.

    Comment by Phil — February 13, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  41. Tussock, I figure you used ‘Taranaki Maori’ as a generic location, but as there is a Taranaki iwi (which wasn’t involved in the Moriori enslavement) it’s best to specify that the two iwi involved were Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga – http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/moriori.

    As for Waitangi Day, it’s imperfect but there’s potential for it to be worthwhile. Waitangi itself might be a lightning rod for anger and boorish behaviour, but some Waitangi events in towns around New Zealand are used for celebration and/or discussion. While the official celebrations do the same old merry-go-round the rest of NZ is just quietly getting on wit it.

    Comment by Ataahua — February 13, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  42. The rest of NZ ignores it, see’s it on the news and gets angry at the boorish grandstanding then wishes the whole thing would go away except the day off.

    Comment by stephen — February 13, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  43. It’s sad how so many ‘commentators’ view the antics at Waitangi as the only thing that happened on the day. These stories show a whole range of events and activities people took part in on Waitangi Day:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10783738

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10783722

    http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/photos/waitangi-day-hawkes-bay-2012/11069/#id=waitangi-day-hawkes-bay-2012&num=1

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/kapiti-observer/6387262/Waitangi-Day-biggest-ever/

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6372918/Taking-pride-in-Waitangi-Day

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/rodney-times/6389285/Positive-Waitangi-Day

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/6375638/Festival-brings-people-together

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/south-taranaki-star/6389172/Why-worry-on-Waitangi-Day

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/6374919/Marae-marks-day-to-unite-as-one

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/waiheke-marketplace/6381313/Day-draws-people-together

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/6372942/Sadness-hope-at-Okains-Bay

    Yet, the thrust of most commentary is that Waitangi Day was all doom and gloom because of some protestors.

    It’s hilarious how a man such as Paul Holmes, who is handsomely paid to vent his outrage in forums which reach thousands of Kiwis, can get all upset about some people voicing their own outrage up at Waitangi.

    Comment by Wiihay Rollbutts — February 13, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

  44. Tussock, have you heard of Te Rauparaha? Generally a lovely chap by all reports, quite smart and modern actually, but also made a bit of an impression around Nelson way before wandering off to bother folk further south. It’s alleged that the survivors were accidental.

    I’d also like to see fireworks at the start of winter if not at midwinter solstice. Solstice strikes me as ideal, but equinox would probably be more practical just for weather reasons. Fireworks don’t work well in storms,

    Comment by MozInOz — February 13, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  45. Yes, Tussock. Before you talk about anything Maori, especially to a Maori, you must do a great deal of research first, and then perhaps ask them if you are getting it right, as you also can’t know how they feel about things and what their relationship with their iwi is like, just by knowing what iwi they come from! You cannot glean subtle distinctions about Maori culture, life and people easily through having watched the telly like you can with all things Pakeha, which is a much more obvious, easily characterised culture that can always be summed up easily in terms of power and capitalism and comodification and so forth.

    While it is probably safer not to say anything at all – listening and learning is always better – you might want to request to confirm the information you are about to express, preferably apologising first, your head bend and smiling sheepishly, in case you do offend that particular individual for making assumptions – or for emphasising their race.

    Unfortunately for Pakeha everything they do will be aggravating to the right-thinking Maori, but this is the consequence of colonialism and you should still try nevertheless because it addresses some of the power balance that exists every time you grovel in exaggerated respect.

    Oh yeah, and never forget that you are a guest in this country.

    Comment by Pakehaha — February 14, 2012 @ 1:14 am


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