Sunday, January 15, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

So I read in the paper that for the next census it will be acceptable to put “Kiwi” as your nationality. I like this a lot. See, I have no problem giving this information – unlike most conspiracy theorists, who think that this is a tool to give our details to The Military Industrial Complex™, I figure that Big Brother already has all of this information on me, so why make waves? However, it has always grated that they’ve asked for my cultural identity and then never listed it among the options: The census forms have asked me whether I’m a New Zealand Maori or a New Zealand European; but I’m not Maori, and I’m not from Europe.

As Ben points out, I’m not really helping anyone by taking an exercise in demography and turning it into a race issue – I know I’m using semantics to build this into a bigger problem than it needs to be, but every four years it’s like having this conversation:

“Is your name Phil or Trevor?”
“Uh... My name’s Jack.”
“Phil or Trevor?”
“My name’s Jack.”
“Not on the form. Phil or Trevor?”
“Well... Trevor, I guess.”
“Right, for the next half-decade, the Government will have your identity listed as Trevor. See you round, Trev.”
“Bye Mike.”
“My name’s Phil.”

It’s just nice that they’ve fixed this one, is all...