Wednesday, 17 September 2014

To vote or not to vote

A friend of mine doesn't vote, citing that voting secedes your ability to be free and instead gives others permission to rule you.. Before this election, many years ago, I have also chosen not to vote, wanting to concentrate my energies into real power and real change. I understood this as the world around me; the people I move with, my 'sphere of influence' so to speak.
Low voter turnout is pandemic in the western world. People keep saying that if only the most affected voted they would institute huge changes for their own benefit. If that were so, why don't we see it happen? We are quick to say voter apathy is the cause, without understanding that that state is almost inevitable. Low voter turnout of the poor and disenfranchised reinforces their belief that this world is not made for them. Synonymously it strengthens the status quo or the majority view (who also surprise surprise happen to be very good voters). Minorities don't do well in elections-a representation in Parliament doesn't stop you from being railroaded by the majority into laws and decisions that are alien to you. Democracy can be a cruel joke-one person one vote- if you are not on the receiving end of society's privileges. You just keep voting or not- and keep losing.
Politics is seen as 'not for me' by non voters. I went to hear Hordur Torafson from Iceland, the country that went from prosperity to ruin during the financial meltdown 2009- 2011.If you remember the people threw out the government literally, by surrounding the buildings and calling for resignation of the whole government.One abiding memory from that talk was that post the 'revolution', people are talking politics, everyone is talking politics!And the politicians know they are watching them. 
I really like that story; political involvement; making sure that politicians do not overstay their mandate to govern. I'm still thinking about my friend, who questions our need for governance at all. I may well head down that road myself. Sure we need to work things out together, but that doesn't imply centralised government. I guess most people want someone who will save them, feed them, give them jobs etc. And then when that inevitably fails- someone to blame. And that in a nutshell may be the foundation of our ghastly reality show we call the elections.

The birth of the Us Party

The Us Party
Manifesto.
·         We are against Them. They got us in trouble didnt They.
·         We will take responsibility for your life. We will make it our job to keep you safe, to give you jobs, educate you and to feed you. We call this healthy dependence.
·         If we fail then its ok to hate us.
·         You can use us to project onto. This means at first you can idolise Us, thinking that we will save you, and then, when it inevitably fails, we will take the blame as to why your life is still shit.
·         We stand for adversarial politics. Basically We are right and everyone else is wrong.
·         We understand that voting for Us is a Wasted Vote, as we are a minority; so we suggest you going for one of the Big Two parties
·         We won’t be put off by side shows such as the present widespread moral distaste for the spying on us, but instead focus on talking about the real issues that are affecting New Zealanders, such as Health, Education and Jobs.
·         One of our important responsibilities is to shuffle money around and make it look like we are creating more money for needy causes, the poor etc

Jobs
·         We will promise to bring about new jobs, thus eliminating guilt and indifference for you to get together as a community and looking at meaningful work which remunerates and satisfies at a social, psychological and environmental level.
·         We don’t believe we have much clout as a nation, so we will follow trends and fashion such as growth, global positioning etc even though we’ re not really sure what they mean.
·         If you identify yourself as a Hardworking New Zealander, then vote for Us. If you identify yourself as a poor loser who is trying hard but nothing seems to change no matter who is the Government, then vote for the Greens, Labour, Conservative.
·         We simply hate minorities. They never get anywhere do they?

Education
  Our Education system is failing so we plan to give it CPR. We have a Bums on Seats policy in place.

We believe that Education should be forced upon everyone, not just the 12 or so years it is at present. 

What that means is railroading people from birth till death into Education. We see that a dying persons last words should be “Did I get Merit or Excellence?”

 Education should continue to be a really unpleasant experience to get people used to the ‘Real World’ of joblessness, misery in the workplace, and general slavery.

Health $
·         We put a dollar sign next to health to remind you that it’s all about bucks. More health equals more bucks and vice versa.
·         We will buy more machines to keep you alive when you’d rather be dead, and add the cost to your taxes.
·         We will use the increased police force to monitor alternative practitioners and stop these weirdos from giving people false hope by curing them.
·         We promise to back huge companies who are selling drugs legally to our citizens.

Environment
·         Let’s face it, bad evil mo’ fo’s kill whales, mine, and destroy rivers. If we eliminate the cause, then it’s all going to be dandy. You know what I’m saying eh.
·         We promise not to link any issues with a structure that makes plunder inevitable, such as massive debt.
·         We are against global warming and other nasty things happening to the planet, but jobs are way more important than a dying planet.

Police
·         Oh and of course, we will get tough on criminals, such as most of the Maori population and black people in general.
·         We will eliminate gangs, and increase the number of police. And no, the Police are not a gang which serves property owners and the majority. That’s just an accident that they appeared in the same sentence.
·         Crime happens because bad mo’fo’s do bad things ok? Don’t give me that bullshit about the cause being an unfair society which increasingly marginalises people, or the fallout from colonial domination of another group of people or economic hardship. We promise to cleanse society of bad mo’fo’s, even if that means jailing whole towns. (Link this to more jobs)

Defence
·         We hope to recruit more young na├»ve guys who want camaraderie, the attention of male role models and general messing around with guns. It’s better than gangs. We just hope that when they have to follow orders and shoot a mama in a village that they don’t waiver.
·         We hope to recruit guys who at present are involved in sensless slaughter on the internet playing those games you’d rather not have in your house but have given up arguing about.





Friday, 15 August 2014

Poem for dad

My dad died.I hope you will forgive my use of the blog for this poem. I hope you find it some benefit, especially if you have lost someone close. Goodbye dad. You are here with us in the now. Loving you always my father

Composing a poem for dad, for me

Composing a poem for dad, for me
For my sadness, the tui, bright and flashy
as a black diamond
doesn’t care.
Preludes rising like your joy
and diving into anguish

Sometimes the Hutt breaks its banks in grief
and its tears anoint statehouse porches
Othertimes you see it has lazy acceptance in esses
You see it confined, know it swathed stones once, forming this valley
We sensed your restriction pulling away at the covers and tubes
And things they said for your own good

Mum dreamed of you at her back imitating her S shape in sleep
I wake with Chopin aching three mornings
The left hand is the carrier and the right plays its own tune
Mum woke and thought you were there
The right hand clasping left, her own.  

And there you are in the lament of right and wrong in my brothers,
the song, a great oneliner, an empty lazy boy and lifeless widescreen

We wound up following the Hutt River to that field where earth says welcome
Black granite, cold as dark suits, stabs up out of the ground
My friend Hugh tells me that the Books of the Dead tell what it’s like
My family like the idea that Christ himself mentioned
No inkling here so far, though faith be our torch with which we look
-except for the Monarch against the white hearse and
again, like a lolly against Mt Holdsworth fair and stark, sheeted and silent


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Demanding sorry

I hear alot in the news and elsewhere about apologies being demanded and withheld and so on. Recently I heard, more than once, that an apology was need to give 'closure'. I am saddened to hear that the apology has become a requirement of the process of an error and restoration of relationships. Before I am misjudged let me say that if remorse is felt -it usually is although our brutal pasts have cut us off from empathetic connection to others- then it can be expressed.It is wonderful when it is. I'm talking about a knee jerk automatic 'sorry' that comes, often under duress, from our mouths, which has nothing empathetic or any other feeling attached except resentment. Will an apology undo or lessen the pain that happened? Will a prison sentence undo the crime? I would love to get an apology for every time that I was abused or misjudged, but in truth, if I give someone else that much power i have left myself open to a long and painful wait. Especially if it is withheld. I have relinquished my locus of control, my ability to heal,  to somebody else.
Is it possible to understand that the 'event' had a lesson for us? Not "let this be a lesson to you" type of lesson, but one which  brings out some thought (strongly held ones are beliefs) you have about yourself. Such judgements like  "He treated me as worthless" and "I was abused" and "She abandoned me" suggest a judgement about an event in which we are clearly defined as victim. Under those lie thoughts which we don't even think of as thoughts; we mistake them for reality. I am useless, I am unlovable, I am worthless, I don't count etc or variations on those themes. That's the lesson-to bring into the light those condemming self judgements which I say are lies we believe to be true. And its the believing that does the damage, because those thoughts (beliefs) have a resonant 'negative' feeling state that goes with them, just as thoughts like' I am beautiful' and 'I am lovable' have joy and serenity with them.
I discovered a new way to forgive known in a book by Colin Tipping as Radical Forgiveness, in which the 'perpetrator' and the 'victim' are see as performing a kind of unwitting dance together. Instead of searching for blame and punishment it seeks to help me to consider a wider and more far- reaching story.It makes way for compassion, and real forgiveness-of yourself.It lets feelings be truly felt and opens the way for healing.

Anzac Day; Lest We Forgot and we believe in war

Has it all been said about Anzac Day? No, I've got some more! I heard a Gallipoli vet talking about his experiences.He talked about a field of daisies that constituted a 100 yard dash across heavily machine gun protected open  space. In his words the first lot of 30 to 40 men ran and they 'dropped'; followed by the next lot who also 'dropped'. The  language was such that I at first thought he meant they ducked for cover. What he was saying was they were killed. So he witnessed 90 to 100 men crossing this flowerbed to their deaths in probably around a minute. My friend Lucy from England said that there have been studies made of the type of language used in war-I'm betting in any situation where the reality was too much to bear. You get words like 'dropped' and 'served' and 'fallen' and 'in a bit of trouble'and so on. All to make it bearable which I sort of understand; however a part of me says perhaps naively that if we called it what it is then we would be truly conscious of the reality and revisit our firmly held views on war.
I had an argument with my partner Alice on Anzac Day about the way I criticise the commemorations.She said the people remaining need a way to remember them. I acknowledge that.It is very important.But if that's the case how come we are just remembering soldiers who died? Are civilian women and children the 'Glorious Dead'?I keep chuckling cynically at the 'Glorious Dead'-and getting iry over it. There's nothing glorious about it.They were bloody blown to bits!
And its too easy to say they "gave their lives". Is it martyrdom or a murder/suicide pact?I say its a convulsion and a belief in violence as a means of solving problems of resources, land. I will stop when we stop using war as a legitimate solution to problems.When parents, when schools, when society believes force is the answer to solving problems, how can you expect anything different on a 'macro' level, between nations?
People I know people I respect; who are well informed,church going Christians speak of war as if it is an inevitable conclusion. That's what makes me mad.
And what is behind youth's newfound interest in Anzac Day? I do know that schools force their students to represent the school at such events. I'm guessing its seen as a patriotic event for the community and to not be there is the thing you don't want to be noticed for. On the positive side, I think curiosity, perhaps compassion, the desire to stand for something so missing from our youth also make it attractive.
I don't believe that Anzac Day actively glorifies war. Some of my friends do.To me though, it is a great opportunity to look at these deeper questions. It is big on sacrifice (so is the Taleban) and repeats the Christian paradigm of "I died for you" that Christians are in to. Guilt? We owe them?   We all chant "Never Again!"; the plainly dumb mantra of an ill- informed populous. What with Pol Pot in Cambodia, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and other genocides we clearly need to drop "never again" like a hot spud. Perhaps what we mean is "never again" for us.
I'm for revolution, I'm for evolution too. We need a revolution so that we fit our world and all its inhabitants. I'm talking beyond religion -the people based organisations- to actually mutual recognition of our place on the thin skin we call Earth. I'm talking learning a new language of mutuality-one that recognises we share hundreds of deep yearnings, a language which we share with every stone and every plant. I'd like to see it supplant our current language which is the language of domination developed by our minds, where we believe in war,and in my win equals your loss.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Toby flying

My son Toby doing some aerials with our wind generator in the background

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Judgement Day

Yes that's right; people who put their own name on their number plate and men who wear pointy shoes are not to be trusted! Let it be said!
Factually
Duncan