Thursday, 22 September 2011

Yes, we’re small-minded.

How small-minded are New Zealanders?

At a time when the world is collapsing in an orgy of European and American debt, our second-largest city lies in ruins and the Rugby World Cup has arrived on our shores to lift our spirits, most New Zealanders are eager to find enough time amongst it all to get incensed about a comedian impersonating an airline pilot. (“Send them to jail!” “A serious security threat!” “I need to get a life!”)

If you’re one of those people, please ask yourself: “Is this really the best thing I can be doing with my time? Seriously?” After all, nothing came or was likely to come of it, and if anything it showed airport security was working well enough to stop him before he tried to fly your Grandma to Timaru. 

Aren’t there enough real things to get irate about, without creating them out of nothing?

Even with the Rugby World Cup right here in front of us, instead of just getting enthused about the tremendous outpouring of excitement we have seen, too many people are concerned instead about too many other people being out enjoying themselves, about the state of the trains, and about England players (gasp) having a few beers after a game—not to mention the colour of their jerseys during it. 

“My God! They’ve stolen our jersey!” “They shouldn’t be allowed to disrespect our jersey!”  Etc. Ad nauseum. It seems both the English, with their black jerseys at this World Cup, and the French, with their dark-dark blue at the last, both spotted how easy it is take a small-minded NZer’s eye off the ball.

As have the Australians in times past. Just remember how incensed everyone got when David Campese had the temerity to disrespect the haka!  Yes, folks, that was right before he helped his team dismantle our team at another World Cup while you were out filing a complaint with the Race Relations Commissioner.

And Lord knows there’s enough hakas around to disrespect right now. You can’t turn a corner for the sight of someone slapping their thighs, rolling their eyes, and bellowing incoherently into some imagined opponent’s face.  Since this is rapidly becoming our default form of greeting visitors, seemingly spilling over now into even less savoury forms of sledging,  it’s no wonder some of our cousins over the ditch are starting to get concerned about us.

It has always been this way. We focus obsessively on the small and unimportat while the large goes on around us unnoticed.  Just ask Alasdair Thompson, or Paul Henry --- both of whose employment status instantly became a Matter of National Importance when they … when they what? Can anyone even remember now what seemed so important then? 

Our penchant for small-mindedness while the world burns around us is perhaps our small country’s way of handling being small in a world where bigness seems to count. But it’s not one of our most attractive traits.

There ought to be a law against it.


  1. Having just returned from a sanity-restoring trip out of the country, the pathetic, small-minded, busy-body attitudes of many New Zealanders, and especially the media, are starkly revealed.

  2. You say security worked. Did it? When exposed as a hoax, they let him wander off. Some travellers have been arrested for making lame bomb jokes. Impersonating a pilot to enter secure areas is, to my mind, way stupider than that.
    But generally the loudest Kiwis are usually very small minded. mara

  3. I think the news on channel 3 this morning was run back to front.
    1st story was the Tindall "affair".
    last story was the world financial crisis.

    Are they trying to do the womans mags out of business?

    It looks like Huxely got it right:

  4. @ anonymous

    Yes, security did what it needed to do. It stopped a guy in uniform from going where he was not allowed to go.

    It is no different then if you would walk up to try to get past security. The uniform makes no difference. No pass no access. Simple.

    What would you have them do? Shoot the comedian. Lock up someone for trying to get past a checkpoint and being refused? Even a fine is ridiculous. The guy never made it into a restricted area. He only tried! He could have been dressed up as a fairy for all I care.

    To bring in examples that are even worse than this case does not justify what happens here.

  5. small country syndrom......

  6. But at least our small-mindedness has saved us from bagpipes at games; which stops maori with their sticks on strings [equally] musical instrument.

  7. A less equiable chap than my good self may think the authorities were perhaps intending to 'balance things up a bit' - as the Judge let the other b*gger (!) off they are definately going to send this half of the former comedy duo to the clink.

    I think the "little people" feel it best to let everyone know the fascist, humourless anally retentive people from places like...ummmmm....Tauranga, Waimate and Glenfield still run this country! so there! and if you disagree I will engage in foot stamping and hysterical screaming... ("I am white, middle class, law abiding, tax paying, school rugby team coaching, helping old ladies across the street-ing, church going, charity donating, National voting member of the community so you HAVE to do what I say! dammit!")... until the police do what I want, when I want, against people I dislike. So there!

    (you get the general idea of New Zealand circa. 2011 *wink*)

  8. I suspect it is as much because journalists, talkback hosts and the like are clueless about monetary policy and the Euro crisis, as they have been clueless about economics and philosophy all along.

    Simple issues are ones they can't be held to account for when they don't know any better.

  9. Small minded indeed. I'm amazed at the non-stop worship of John Key. How could anybody rationalise the act of voting for a party which has quadrupled the deficit in only three years?

    Yesterday on September 25, TVNZ reported on an accusation that John Key does not understand Afghanistan. If this is true, then why is he waffling on about Afghanistan's future? If John Key doesn't understand Afghanistan or the war in general, then why does he send the SAS and make statements about the conflict?

    Nobody in the media has the guts to ask real questions, or even do research. As Liberty Scott said, the pressitute journalists of today know nothing about issues of actual importance. I met a TVNZ reporter recently, and she had no brains. She would make a great stripper, and an even better trophy wife. I have no idea why she works as a journalist.

    I'd like to see a protest against the RWC, because it's downgrading the quality of news. All these blonde bimbo news reporters think they're so clever. I saw a clip from a sports trivia programme, where pathetic journalists ambush "unsuspecting" members of the public, and ask questions about rugby. Who cares? The world is bigger than a game of rugby. What is so important about a bunch of muscle-heads chasing a ball around a patch of grass?

    Auckland has passed a bylaw which bans people from handing out flyers or DVDs, so even if you tried protesting the mass brainwashing operation, you'll be abducted and locked up in the nearest police station, for dishonouring our patriotic, ball-chasing muscle heads.

    If New Zealand disintegrates later this century, we'll only have ourselves to blame.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.