Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Kiwiana

RSJS writes:

I watched a show last night investigating whether “pakeha” have their own culture. Which corresponds nicely with recent claims that the tangata whenua learned child abuse (well, specifically corporal punishment) off the Christian colonials. So yup, pakeha do have a culture: when we got sick of smacking the locals on the head and stealing their toys, we taught them to do it to themselves. Bastards, but clever bastards.

I’m not sure I buy some of these theories. I agree the descendents of European settlers in NZ have ties too close to the lands of their forefathers not to see what passes for a culture is derived from a dozen other countries, and the elements they found in Aotearoa… well, the copyright holders are RIGHT HERE so claiming them as ones own seems a bit cheeky. In time, as with so many other countries, our distance from the source material will allow evolution and customisation to occur until an indigenous kiwi culture will emerge to export to themed pubs overseas. But the idea that child abuse is Europe’s one great contribution to New Zealand? I wonder if this really is meant to be evoking an idyllic past where everyone got the fuck along (for limited definitions of “everyone”), or is just a reference to the structured abuse brought to the locals by nuns wielding Good Books and metre rulers with which to bruise knuckles for the Lord… Is it violence the sailors are alleged to have brought, or just institutionalised violence? Hmmmm… To the learnin’ place with those “book” things, methinks. Or I could just get all kneejerk and cough “bullshit” up my sleeve and get back to more pressing matters like flicking artificial sweeteners into my colleague’s cup o’ tea while they’re not looking.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I hope that's Aspartame you're using there, and not some second-rate carcinogen substitute.

Look, everyone knows that New Zealand was picture-perfect before them Goddamned white folk arrived. Anyway, when did a measured analysis really help anyone?