Aug 11, 2017


Arriving by sea, it's best to enter enter a port at dawn as the rising sun burns off the motionless sea mist.  When the air has been freshened during the night and seems to hold a faint scent of flowers.  Dew gleamed on every leaf and blossom, creating the feeling that the place had been created anew that very morning. The ship slowed to a speed at which the throb of her engines was no longer perceptible and the vessel glided silently into the tranquil harbour.

But then again, for the more modest and chaste-souled of closet ethnographers, it's probably all about ways of seeing...

An all fur coat and no knickers sort of town, where it's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody, this is Auckland, largest conurbation of what Orstryliuns know as the sheep-shaggers of the shakey isles.  You might well think so, but one couldn't possibly subscribe to the Ocker opinion that a Kiwi leisure centre is five sheep tied to a lamp post, or that the only reason that they have women here is because the sheep can't cook.

Although exemplifying the Oceanic Malaise of apathetic boredom and vapid monotony of incurious minds, this little world unto itself is a cheerful, friendly kind of place, peopled with escapists, unpublished poets and endearing halfwits with comic accents.

Protected by mediocrity and insensitivity from the terrors of the world in a cultural climate that hopefully engenders patience and stoicism among expatriates, Homo Kiwiensis enjoys a comfortable lower middle-class existence with a mental outlook of its own, self-judged and self-approved (each little sugar-coated embellishment seems to be the outward denial of an inner doubt). 

Unravaged by the fierce intellectual life of our century, or any other, it's becoming an increasingly polarized culture, not yet freed from the disturbing passions of its past, but already troubled with anxieties about a very different future, quite possibly as an ark where the residue of civilisations' last golden age might shelter from a seemingly inevitable ecocide.

No comments: