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The joys of living in the central city - Tactical Ninja

Nov. 28th, 2011

08:43 am - The joys of living in the central city

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So apparently while I was at work on Saturday, stuff happened outside my house. A farmer who'd decided he'd had enough staged a protest in Cuba Mall that involved setting fire to a car. His protest was against fractional reserve banking, and he painted a message across the pavement saying 'google it'. So I did. Turns out it's the practice where banks only keep a fraction of their deposited sums in actual money, but are happy to loan the rest out. You know that large sum (several hundred thousand dollars) that whizzed through my account the day I paid for my house? Doesn't actually exist except as bits/pixels. But the guy who got those bits deposited them at another bank, increasing the sum of its deposits, all in imaginary money. This allows the banks to create money, and they can't actually honour all their deposits should they be required to, which, thanks to the Occupy movement, more people understand is a problem.

So in a sense I agree with the guy but his form of protest is.. dodgy as fuck. In the video you can hear him saying he has tanks of propane in the car (turned out not to be true), and is encouraging people to hang around while the car burns - including the guy who's filming it. Seems he was quite prepared to endanger people to make his point and you can hear mutters of 'fucking idiot' from the bystanders. In other words, he didn't get anyone onside with his little bonfire. However, the painted statement is still there and I think that probably will cause a few people to look it up now that there's no car on fire to drive them away.

Anyway, the joys of living in the central city. You can see the entrance to my house in the still shot on that video. Although, everything except the painted words was gone before I got home so I missed the excitement. Last Saturday the Hare Krishnas had a dance in the mall at 9am, and one day last week there was a live band for a political rally. Things happen in Cuba Mall and you never know what you're going to see when you open the door - sometimes it's just hot people with skates on, other times it's flaming cars.

And the other thing that happened on Saturday is I received a wake-up call. KIDS, WEAR SUNSCREEN. I mean, I did - but this is the first shearing season since I've been doing this little run where my hair's been long enough to tie back - and I forgot to put sunscreen behind my ears. This morning I woke up and my hair was all gungy where the skin behind my ears has blistered and been weeping. Ears don't have a lot of nerves so I didn't feel the burnt skin, but it seems the backs of them are quite badly burnt. ;-/ And there's a patch on the back of my arm where there was a hole in my shirt that I missed too. But it does show how well sunscreen works in that the places where I did apply it are just fine.

For those who've never experienced it, New Zealand sun is FIERCE. You can get badly burnt on an overcast day and on a fine day like Saturday, burn time is approximately 15 minutes. Here, the burn times are broadcast over the radio. Northern hemisphere folks don't believe us about this for some reason, so it's part of the tourist/expat experience to get badly burnt at least once before realising that no, the locals are not exaggerating to try and scare or fool you. And we get caught out sometimes too, as evidenced by the gunk in my hair. Drat.

You know, I agree with some of this article, but the headline? Was that really necessary? The article's about the possibility that internalised misogyny causes women in New Zealand to shun more traditionally feminine styles of dress through feeling they'll be seen as somehow 'lesser' if they are too 'girly' - and I think it has a point. Shit, that was me for a lot of my younger life. But "New Zealand Women Are Slobs"?? Thanks, media. Way to alienate the people who should most be reading this.

I wore my summer sandals to work. And now it's raining. Ph3ar my powers!

Finally, if you voted National, I will hold you personally responsible for any crap that happens in the next three years. Global warming? Your fault. More oil spills? Your fault. Currency crashes? Yep, you too. Personally. Doesn't make sense? Nor does voting for National. Suck it up.

Comments:

From:caycos
Date:November 27th, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC)
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Are sunhats compatible with shearing? Cos that'd be ideal for the ears..
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From:tatjna
Date:November 27th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
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It would probably be ok in terms of not getting in the way, but I might have to cut the crown out of it so I don't overheat.

Because shearing is not about looking good, right? The sheep don't care and the farmers won't tell, right? ;-D
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From:caycos
Date:November 27th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
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Oh oh you could get a 'tennis' hat, with one of those hang-down sleeves for bonus cool points...

(no idea if that'll work)
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From:anna_en_route
Date:November 27th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
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I'm holding National voters responsible for the next Pike river/Cave creek/Rena incident where overworked and undertrained public servants overlook some basic feature of safety/engineering and people are hurt or killed as a result.

I don't feel like I'm being overly pessimistic when I predict at least one (and probably more than one) incident in the next 3 years.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 27th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
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Exactly. Also wondering if it'd be better for my sanity to try to stop reading (and caring) about what's going on in our country for the next three years, maybe pick one thing and focus on that.

But I don't know if I can do that.
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From:t_c_da
Date:November 27th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, and Stuff is reporting Teflon John claiming a clear mandate for partial asset sales, despite polls saying 70% of the electorate saying they don't want it.

Sometimes I cry for this country...
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From:dianavilliers
Date:November 27th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
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That article is making me ragey.
There's a bemusing set of mixed messages there, along with a fair whack of victim blaming, and no real exploration of what the term "femininity" actually means. Maybe it's like porn, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

I'm left with the vague impression that it has something to do with magenta overalls for female farmhands, and that if we have more of it there will be less domestic violence. Heck, if you can't make explicit the ideals I'm not living up to, then you'll just have to forgive me for not trying.

Also, according to the election results, the traditional feminine superpowers of Tolerance, Compassion and Sensitivity seem not to be highly valued in the New Zealand of today.

I think I might "swagger in a manly fashion" to morning tea today, just out of spite.

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From:tatjna
Date:November 27th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
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Manly swaggering is my forte. Like Polly says, it's about walking as if you've an orange in each armpit.

And I think it's trying to highlight the way women are still not valued in NZ and the impact that has on the way we dress and behave - but you're right, I found the lack of definition for femininity made it hard to pin down what we're supposed to be doing about it too.

And it does seem to be still entrenched in stereotypes of how to do gender.
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From:bekitty
Date:November 27th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Apparently femininity is pink. Because berry colours or something. I dunno. *shrug*
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From:tatjna
Date:November 27th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
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The backs of my ears are very feminine then! Also my tongue. And Joel's tongue, and his toes. Feminine as.
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From:richdrich
Date:November 27th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
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The thing with fractional reserve banking is that it doesn't work like some people think - hope you don't mind an explanation:

Imagine a group of people decided to stop using banks and set up a community credit union. Anyone can save money, and once you've done a bit of saving, you're eligible for loans.

Now Bill has a car he wants to sell, and Susan needs a car. Both of them have accounts at NiceGuys Credit Union, who agree to lend Susan the $1000 Bill wants for his car. Susan gets a loan of $1000, which she pays to Bill. Bill deposits that money in his account.

See what happened? Niceguys just created $1000. They owe Bill the money, and Susan owes them the money, but no actual folding stuff was needed.

That's zero reserve banking, and it happens when anyone starts taking deposits and lending money.

Fractional reserve banking is a *limitation* on that, and means that Niceguys would have to put some of the money in a government account (or a Big Sack Of Money) where they can get it out quickly, rather than having to make Susan repay her loan.

Because people expect interest on their deposits (or services, like EFTPOS and so on) banks have to pay interest, so they make their money on the difference between the loan rate and deposit rate. They don't trouser the whole lot, as some people think.

So ending fractional (and zero) reserve banking would have to involve either banning all lending, or nationalising the entire banking system. I think the latter would be better than the former, but would still have some disadvantages.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 27th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
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That's a funky and understandable explanation. Thanks!

Also, I agree that the latter is a better option and I do wonder if the Big Sack of Money should be bigger as well.
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From:rivet
Date:November 27th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for a cogent and practical explanation. I didn't feel up to tackling that one!
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 27th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I used to think fractional reserve banking was silly, but it does make some sense.

But looking here, it surprises me there is no reserve requirement for New Zealand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_requirement

So banks can loan as much as they want? (wikipedia could be wrong obviously)
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From:clashfan
Date:November 28th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
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This reminds me of the scene in 'It's a Wonderful Life'. There's a run on the bank and the Saving & Loan, and George Bailey says, "Well, the money you deposited isn't *here*. It's in the Stevensons' house, and the Piccolis' house, and in the repairs to Gary's gas station. That's where your money is, folks."

Am I the only one who remembers that? I might be a little weird.
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From:downwardlashes
Date:November 27th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
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At least you get an election again in three years, instead of four? Yay?
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From:tatjna
Date:November 27th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
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Kinda. Although the three-year term is not considered long enough for an elected party to 'do anything'*, and often a party will be voted in for a second term 'just to give them a chance'. I wonder if four years might actually work out better?

* I have no idea what this actually means. The current government did lots this term, not a lot of it good. Maybe we didn't get to feel the worst brunt of it yet?
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From:t_c_da
Date:November 28th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
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Does this supply any ideas??

the whole site seems to be dedicated to the non-official view of things at large...
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From:helianthas
Date:November 28th, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
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How is a "burn time" calculated? Shouldn't it take into consideration skin color, thereby making an actual cross-population "burn time" impossible?

I know from that I can sit in sunshine for 15 minutes and not appear to change color at all while my much paler mom gets pinky pink pink... I've heard "exposed flesh freezes in 5 minutes" in Chicago (brrrrr!!) and assume most naked people freeze at more or less the same rate, though I wonder if fat insulates. Hmmm.
My other pondering is if it's true that the reason NZ sun is so fierce is there's a big hole in the ozone layer right over the whole country?

Oh wait... "Google it!" :p

Ps sorry to hear about your ears!!

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From:tatjna
Date:November 28th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
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They are busy replacing burn time with UV index for that reason, although realistically if they're about keeping people safe then the burn time should be for the people most likely to burn quickly, and if you're less likely to burn (I burn more slowly than Joel for example, and Maori people tend to burn more slowly still) then you just go "OK that's the time for my pink friends, I have a bit longer.

But realistically, everyone should be wearing sun screen here.

There are three reasons the sun here is so strong:

1. The ozone hole.
2. We go closer to the sun in summer than the Northern hemisphere does.
3. Less pollution blocking the rays. Trufax.
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From:missgriim
Date:November 28th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
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I heart your journal.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 28th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
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D'aww, thanks! ;-)
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