September 18th, 2014


Irony is sometimes particularly delicious

Our country goes to the polls on Saturday.

A couple of years ago, the current government passed an act under urgency, against the recommendations of experts and a significant and vocal number of citizens, that came to be known as the Skynet Bill. It's an anti-piracy law that allows copyright owners to prosecute NZ citizens through ISPs, fine them up to $15,000, and has provision for anyone found to be infringing more than three times to have their internet cut off.

This week, Eminem's publishers sued the goverment for using his song "Lose Yourself" as part of their election campaign.

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Meanwhile, I note that people wear their political party like a badge, in a similar way that people wear their football team. Only, political parties at least have some connection to a set of values, and thus to an identity. I am still vaguely weirded out by it, because identifying with a political party like that seems to instil a 'we' and 'you' mentality. 'We' are going to win, and then 'you' will be sad. Never mind that actually, the people who will be sad will be those who the policies don't help.

I have some difficulty with the knowledge that support for a political party is an indication of values. There are a couple of National voters, including one of the sign-waving ones, in my internet circles. Now that I know that about them, I think less of them. Not because they aren't nice people, but because of what it indicates about their values, and how different they are from my own. I haven't gone so far as to exclude them from my circles, because I believe that having people who disagree with me in my life is a good thing. But one of these people reposted that thing from the group about late term abortion, as if it were truth. And knowing that this person a) has values that support a bunch of policies that I despise, and b) is happy to repost outrageous claims from extremist groups without researching first? Well, it makes me think less of them.

I feel a bit bad about that and am trying to work out whether this is something I need to work on in terms of acceptance of other people's views. If political views are representative of values and values are part of identity, should I be accepting the people whose identities align with values I disagree with?

And last night, just to prove I'm getting old, I had a Get Off My Lawn moment - literally. A kid stole a flower from by our letterbox. That's ok, right? But 5 minutes later he was back for more. He glanced at our house and saw me in the window, watching him. I didn't shake my fist at him, but I did make it clear I could see what he was doing, and he ran off. I bet now he thinks I'm the crotchety old lady with the flowers.