Monday, August 23, 2021

Cruel to be kind

'You have to be cruel to be kind' is a long-standing axiom.

Axioms arise from generational wisdom. Human nature doesn't change.

Jacinda Ardern consistently calls for Kiwis to "be kind". In today's 4pm stand-up, the record hadn't changed.

How would she respond if asked what cruelty she had exercised in the pursuit of kindness?

Because she has inflicted cruelty on New Zealanders through lock down.

Currently NZ has no 2021 Covid deaths and few hospitalisations (compared to 9 RSV deaths and over 4,000 hospitalisations) yet people are cut off from each other; from elderly, needy parents; can't work with their mates; can't  run their businesses; can't get treatment for life-threatening illnesses; can't socialise; can't arrange or attend funerals or weddings, and are encouraged to nark on anyone breaking these rules. 

Jacinda certainly fulfils the first part of the old wisdom. There's plenty of cruelty going down.

But does she even get close to the second goal?

Her pleading to "be kind", her kindness ideal, is no more than an instruction and expectation about how people should treat each other on a superficial level, bcause under lock down our interactions are no more than fleeting.

If she is asking people who barely tolerate each other in normal circumstances to transform under lock down, you know she lacks any understanding of the human condition under extreme stress.

She must. Or she wouldn't be pig-headedly pursuing the same pathway she led us down in 2020.

"Be kind" is a hollow platitude. That's all it has ever been.

Lock down cruelty can never be rewarded in the way the axiom intended.


Unknown said...

"Be kind" is a hollow platitude"
By that we could bring in 50,000 Rohingya people - who have 9 children and keep having them in refugee camps. My sister informs me that "ohhh it's the cammmps!" Her and her hubby head off every opportunity to ride motorcycles in Vietnam where they live with the locals ("they are us"/"they are rich white tourists").

James said...

Great post Lindsay, thank you.

I'm not the only one suffering in lockdown. My particular circumstances are not unique to me, and there are many reasons why lockdown ends up pouring misery on all sorts of different people.

I have no work, no family, can't go to church, and can't socialise with my friends. Loneliness is exacerbated 1000 fold in this obsessive lockdown, heightened be fear of being narked on by my neighbours if I dare break the rules.

I get infuriated when I see all the COVID-19 signs around the place saying "be kind" as if the government is being anything of the sort. Jacinda has some sort of self-belief that she can preach at us in an ex-cathedra manner from her podium of truth and that her moralising will make us feel better. I've never felt worse - I've never felt more disconnected from my fellow human beings, and the more I read and see about this virus, the less convinced I am that it is remotely worth it.

Mark Wahlberg said...

I dont feel kind towards the Afghan refugees coming into NZ at the present. They will receive many millions of dollars of on going support to help them integrate into our society. They will receive nice homes to live in, education, their medical needs will be met and no doubt there will be jobs provided to help them adjust and feel valued. (we need more taxi drivers)
How many have mental health issues? Are they criminals or sleeper Taliban? Doesn't matter, no one can say we ain't kind and caring.

If only Kiwi's here would stop bitching about the leaky cold caravans they got the 5 kids sleeping or the shop doorways where those with mental health issues erect their carboard cabanas and find shelter from their storms. ,

Stuff it, I'm going to the beach........

Alexandra Corbett Dekanova said...

She is following the pattern that brought her the last election victory. We may hope that this time it will bring her defeat in the next.
Alexandra Corbett Dekanova

Lindsay Mitchell said...

James, I hope you are able to connect with friends over the net. Though I expect that's not much of a consolation. It's just tough and there's not much I can say to be of use to you but hang in there. Give the narks the middle finger. I broke the rules today out of necessity. Must say I bristled driving down the motorway under those huge electronic signs saying 'Be Kind, Stay Calm'. Then laughed at the next saying 'Stay Home'. Bit late by then isn't it? I had to go out to my vaccination appt anyway. Just took a bit of a detour. Must say there's far more traffic on the roads this lockdown than April last year.

Zoe Black said...

This is shaping up to be the worst NZ govt in history.

The article in Stuff says $484 million paid out to date in relief payments. Couldn't help but notice there was no interest breakdown and wonder if that is deliberate.

Stuff have a clear bias towards official Covid response imho.

In the meantime, not everyone is doing the lockdown the same. I applied for a mask exemption card due to health issues. While my card is in the post they sent me a digital copy to use (yeah, duplicate cost...why not just the digital if that's all I needed?). So far, it has been utterly useless to me in both the supermarket and pharmacy, despite the law being clear around exemptions if you have a medical issue that prevents you from safely using one. The supermarket demanded a physical card and declared my electronic copy unacceptable - according to whom? I bet they made that up on the spot because they couldn't handle me not wearing a mask. The pharmacy wasn't too bad because I could stand outside. Most people won't understand just how restrictive this actually is. Since I live alone online orders really don't suit me due to not buying enough. I resent having to live like an invalid and have to ask others to do my shopping for me because TPTB botched the communication around this issue, and I've decided rather than imposing at a stressful time it's better if I tough it out and not buy anything during lvl 4, oh joy. With MoH money hard at work I'll be able to frame the card rather than actually use it.

FYI the exemption card is not mandatory. It was suggested that people like me might feel more comfortable if we had one to use. Yeah, nah. Actually I'd prefer not to have been misled.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Zoe, There have been a number of calls to Peter Williams detailing similar stories to yours. The legal exemption is not worth the paper it is written on. So now we are getting the Covid announcer telling people to "be kind" and understand that some have medical exemptions from mask-wearing. It'd be useful if certain supermarkets would take the lead in exercising this 'tolerance' instead of ignoring the law.
It's a dog's breakfast on too many fronts.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Lindsay, had a moment today when I took Tigerlil to Palmerston north for her 2nd Covid jab.
After the injection we have to wait 20 minutes for any side effects to show. All the seats in the waiting area were spaced 2 metres apart. I put two seats together and sat waiting for the time to pass.
The seat nazi told me it wasn't allowed and I should put my chair back where I found it.
I explained I was my wifes care giver and she wanted me close to her.
I was told to put the chair back.
I kept the argument going for the 20 minutes required by which time the issue had become academic and as we were leaving, They pointed to the 3 other people sitting and waiting for their sentence to expire and asked me "How could they keep control and protect peoples health if others chose to sit where ever they wanted??"
I thanked them and left.
The weather was nice and the drive over the hill was a pleasant change from lockdown in Smallville.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

NZ 2021. No lack of hidebound obedience to illogical rules.

I observe rules that are rational. There aren't that many.

But went through a drive-through vaccination centre today with the itinerant dog aboard. He enjoyed every moment.

Run locally by a Maori organisation, I couldn't fault it.

James said...

Thank you Lindsay, I appreciate that.

Yes, I am lucky enough to have some good friends who decided breaking the law and coming to have a drink with me was warranted. Which it was. Video and phone calls help but don't solve loneliness.

So yes, we have given the narks the middle finger, and will do so again in all likelihood. I think it says a lot about the laws and our government that we have to break them in order to actually be kind.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Well said James. As far as our present government is concerned its sometimes best to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong and using common sense, get on with our own lives.

Rex said...

You are right on the mark Lindsay. Our current PM is a very devious person. The lockdowns have been statistically proven to make very little difference when compared to countries that have not used them. This lockdown has been driven more by Labour & her drop in the polls than any scientifically justified reason. A total scam in my opinion.

Eamon Sloan said...

Rex. I beg to differ. Like it or not, lockdowns do work. The efficacy hinges on timing and community cooperation. That said, there remain a considerable number of actions NZ could take for everyones betterment. But, all of that does not make a Jacinda admirer. Try my blog post for an alternative view. Check out where Sweden stood in the numbers game.

gravedodger said...

Re stupid poorly thought out performances by newly promoted stasi.
After days of increasing pressure we got an acute neurological appt at CHC outpatients, by then muddled by HRH instatuting her lockdown but it went ahead on the second day of ultimate control. Swmbo is still mobile, just, we were met by three masked harridens in the ground floor entrance and informed in less than kind and pleasant terms that a Pt could only proceed alone, S's appt was on 4th floor and there was precious little chance she would (a) make it unaided, (b) accept moi would comply with their extreme demands, (c) security would become involved. Not tall or imposing, my attitude still reeking of charity towards people doing a job, the tension subsided and a phone call ahead made way for reason and sense to prevail. For the ensuing two hours, the carer, himself suffering onset chronic airway obstructive disease was suffering serious airway distress but was admonished whenever relief was sought.
Back in the chariot for the return to house arrest I mused on how one with slightly less self control and awareness of how things can rapidly escalate to newsworthy copy status, a stoush was narrowly averted.