November 28th, 2011


The joys of living in the central city

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.