Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Prize giving at Awatapu College, December 2014

It wasn't just the trumpet fanfare and the odd Oxford Don getup from the staff; it wasn't just the pomposity of the way they walked somberly onto the stage, it was our feelings of disconnection at going to an event celebrating our daughter with a large group of people(including the teachers) we did not know.My local people call this 'normal'. It felt abnormal. And weird because we were celebrating our daughter's honours at this prize giving-which conspired to make it a mixture of happiness, sadness, loneliness, frustration and confusion,
The upside is that it was like watching vaudeville. Every minute or so I could perceive the seat shaking-either me or Alice suppressing guffaws. A few tidbits for voyeurisms sake.
The 'head boy' gives the Wikipedia head boy's speech. His grandest moments were 3 years in the first fifteen and a camp somewhere. Nothing mentioned of the core purpose of schools-educational achievement.Switch to my memories of the Waiopehu College principal Barry Petherick saying, at the end of year prize giving, the yearly camp-(which as I have mentioned before, sorted out the privileged from the not) was likely to be the biggest event and memory of your school experience! I'm sure the head boy's a nice guy- but more than likely a puppet and a product of the system. Sadness as I know he will more than likely have a family and succumb and subject them to this same system.
Then the awards: Now I'm not cynical about showing appreciation, being acknowledged for your effort, talent and so on but.............Excellence in rugby? Merit in rugby? I spose, why not? Everyone wins a prize at this prize giving. Here was I thinking that it was NCEA and these students got Merit in rugby! No, it was the school's prize-giving, I found out later.They had just borrowed the Eduspeak vernacular.
And the singing of the National Anthem, crap lyrics and all! Why are schools singing the National Anthem? Are we kind of grouping ourselves here, identifying with 'National Pride' and equating doing well at school to being a good patriot? And if you don't do well, or you abhor the fervour of flag waving? What then? You aren't a good citizen, dummy! As always, I sat in my seat; refusing to kowtow to pressure or shame. I'll not call anyone sir (except by choice) and I'll not join any Nationalistic or Religious sentiment, lest I wind up thinking I'm right and good and you're wrong and bad.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

It's in everyones interest to make a fairer world

If we build (rebuild) a more fair economic model or models and realise, as a part of it, that greed is endemic to humanity-in fact it's not morally wrong; we are in some way hard-wired for collecting up way more than we need. Its part of our survival instinct and deeply tied to our need for security. We also have a deep part of us which enjoys and recognises mutual satisfaction -you are happy and I am happy and you are happy that I am happy and I am happy when you are! Substitute 'happy' for having enough, satisfaction, belonging etc.
Its just that, if we don't do this, everyone will suffer. The people who don't have enough will suffer. They will get A:hungry and then B:angry and then the powers of the governing bodies which seek to retain power wealth and resources will get nasty with them (as they perceive a threat to their position). The people with all the goodies will also suffer-as the masses revolt against the unfairness, starvation, lack of resources etc.
Institutions such as financial, education, legal system mostly support the wealthy in that they inherently protect property and resources which are 'owned'-when often they are gained by privilege, class structure, theft or just by being sanctioned by a system that allows rampant wealth gathering and retention.
We need to reinstate a system which limits greed and encourages mutual prosperity (I include all livings things as partners in this) This is not pie in the sky. As I've always said, we have created  these structures so we can re-create them.
My family and some others have begun a mutual savings group-one where the collective savings of the group are put to the benefit of the group. The group collectively decides the priority of spending within the group according to immediate need. The idea is to keep the money as a fluid means of exchange-yes, what money was made for! We know where the money goes, we don't have interest gained or indebted and we have the living trust of members. There are many such collectives already operating in this country. They have the power to make banks redundant, and therefore free us from crippling interest driven debt, insane 'growth' practices, funding of wars to name a few benefits.
There is so much scope to act in another direction from the matrix, which you think you cant get out of.
When we tap into our creative powers we can have a great time, share stuff out a bit more evenly, and get to know and work with others in a meaningful way. That way we may have a village after all.