Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The rush to be state house kids

An interesting piece in today's NZ Herald highlights excerpts from speeches of various MPs deliberately personalising the "kiwi dream" by relating their own childhood experiences. It makes the MPs seem a little silly and their anecdotes contrived when thrown together but it could be coincidence. Whatever. The mad rush to be a state house kid (or grow up next to one) began with the Prime Minister.

The nostalgia for the sixties should be tempered though.

I was flipping through a book at Lower Hutt library yesterday and stopped on a page describing 1961. TV was just being introduced. A handful of restaurants were being granted licences to serve alcohol (their names were recognisable to me illustrating how few there were). The only businesses open at the weekend were dairies. Every man trundled home to his suburban housewife and kids to embark on a weekend of gardening and home maintenance  maybe with a trip to the park or some sports game or beach. Lives were quite predictable and uniform.

I also picked up Gordon McLauchlan's The Passionless People Revisited and opened it somewhere at the back. He was explaining why New Zealand wives last so long as sexual partners. Apparently because they have so few moving parts. I thought that was jolly funny and decided to take the book out. But on getting it home I was disappointed to find it opens with a deeply grudging literary assassination of John Key and a litany of every thing wrong with New Zealand. Another soul pining for regulation and state control.What a drudge. That's going back unread.

It is true we have left behind some good values, or moved away from them increasingly. But it is also true much that was undesirable has been consigned to the past - thankfully. If the sixties were put up for auction I doubt there'd be a bidder in the room.


Anonymous said...

I think if you auctioned the 60's you would get lots of bids. The post purchase euphoria may wane with time but I continually encounter people that are unhappy with the pace of life and lack of fulfillment despite having every gadget there is. I suspect the post modern age is really emptiness with lipstick on.


Lindsay Mitchell said...

They don't have to return to the sixties to change their pace of life or rid themselves of unsatisfying materialism. Just do it.

(I rather like my automatic washing machine versus the old manual roller-wringer.)

Anonymous said...

"state house kid" is just another word for bludger.

we should sell of all the state houses - unoccupied! - or better still, just flatten the lot, and give the sections to people who deserve them.

Redbaiter said...

Its not the sixties, its not even any time at all really.

You mention Lindsay a "set of values".

The point you overlook is that truly worthwhile values are not changed by the mere passing of days. They remain constant despite that.

This is why I am a Conservative. I seek to conserve values that are not affected by time of anything much really, and I try to preserve them because they are really the only antidote to the tyranny we experience today.

Sure, its only soft tyranny at the moment, but that could change quite rapidly at any time. The lack of political pluralism in NZ is a desperate state of affairs and I regret it very much.

BTw, its not really the sixties anyway. Quite often I watch interviews with warriors from the second world war. Pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain. The commandos who were dropped into Norway to destroy the Telemark heavy water plant.

These people learnt their values in the thirties and fourties or before. They are first of all eloquent. They have a vocabulary. They are brave. They are polite. They are self effacing and humble. They are committed to defending freedom. And all of these things are not affectations. They are what those people are.

And let's not forget the most important point. They are not like that because they are old. They were like that when they were young. Twenty two years old and climbing into the pilot seats of propeller driven aircraft to go aloft in the night on missions they had a good chance of not returning from.

They went to fight the murderous totalitarian ideology of Nazism, and they knew what they were fighting and they knew why they had to fight it.

Compare them to the narcissistic, grunting, whining, cotton wrapped metal and tattoo laden weaklings who characterise our offspring today and then tell me we have not lost anything.

Anonymous said...

I struggle to get my head around Labour and their claim to be progressive, when everything they seem to be about harks back to a New Zealand that is, for better or worse,long,long gone. As a simple example, my partner and I are building a deck. It's hard, sandy, dirty work. But when it's done, it will be ours, and it will be wonderful because we built it upon the sweat of our own brows. I pity people who don't get that.

Anonymous said...

Sure, its only soft tyranny at the moment

Oh really. Drive at over 100Ks. Open carry down any main street in NZ. Try to say what you usually say in the MSM. Smoke indoors. Then you'll see how "soft" the Key-Labour government really is.

We're arguing the difference between Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev.