vostoklake: (commie)
[personal profile] vostoklake
One of the saddest things that has happened in this country for the last 25 years is the "touristification" of the national consciousness. We have made ourselves a country which grovels and capers so that rich foreigners will throw us money. I can't stand the NZ of docile waiters, bungie jump operators, and cheap labour for foreign films... I love the NZ of the #8 wire mentality, of Split Enz and Flying Nun, and yes, of "Bad Taste" and "Meet The Feebles". (And of course the material basis of that reality was a country with heavy import controls and huge state-funded Railways workshops and the like, where ingenuity was forced-fed on a very lack of resources and foreign investment.)

I can't stand the NZ where, on one hand, we're supposed to agonize over the fact that Australians make much more money than us; and, on the other hand, a foaming hysteria is building up against teachers, doctors, and yes, actors who actually want higher wages and better conditions and are trying, howsoever unsuccessfully, to fight for them. So that can only mean one thing - we must want working NZers to get poorer so that rich NZers can make more money. Like the Teabaggers in the USA, we are prepared to impoverish ourselves so that other people can live a fantasy life which we can then vicariously share.

Is your national pride and personal identity so freakin' dependent on living in a country which is some tourists' fantasy vision of Middle Earth? (Prof. Tolkien would be spinning, of course, because his fantasy world was designed to be quintessentially English and the Shire is actually Warwickshire/Oxfordshire, not freakin' Matamata.) In fact, that's what I have so many issues with tourists to this country. They come here for the scenery. They avoid the actual lived experience of the people - except in so far as we're serving them coffee, of course.

But I do not base my personal identity on living in a country where big-budget fantasy films (even very good ones, based on books I love) are made. Nor do I resent any group of workers, anywhere, anytime, trying their best to get a fair deal, although I might disagree with their tactics. I remember when I worked at a university during an industrial dispute, and students were actually talking about getting together fascist-style squads to bust our picket lines. Is there deep down an actual hatred of organised workers in this country? Why is it "jealousy" or "tall poppy syndrome" to be skeptical of how "Sir Peter" (or Terry Serepisos, for that matter) makes his money, but perfectly okay to unleash our negativity on groups of working people just trying to get a better deal?

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Date: 2010-10-24 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mainfisch
Looks muchly like the "utopy" of a service-based economy, which is praised by some economists over here, too. IMO, the core of this is that some yuppies over here like their lifestyle better if there is a large audience of bending servants who are grinning gratefully whenever they get tipped. The same guys who are proclaiming this neo-feudal lifestyle an economical asset like to go on tangents on how greedy all these servants (like locomotive drivers, shop assistants etc) are, even committing the crime of blackmail by going on strike for better wages...

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