You've met me right? - Tactical Ninja
Jun. 15th, 2012
09:47 am - You've met me right?
This morning I swapped my mouse at work to the left hand side. It seems my pain-free week is over. Wednesday my shoulder started hurting again, and yesterday evening I found myself taking Panadol again. I don't think it's as bad this time in that it's more generalised and less localised to my neck, but yeah. Pain's back. I have another appointment with OsteoDude today, but meanwhile I figure anything I change about what I do at work will probably alter my movements, and right now that's a good thing.
Everything's taking a bit longer, but when I get good at it I'll be able to write and mouse at the same time. Wheee!
So it seems that Kiwiburn is looking at applying for charity status. In New Zealand, the rules around registering as a charitable trust are fairly broad, and the beneficiaries of a charity don't have to be disadvantaged for the purpose to be considered charitable. I would say that technically, Kiwiburn is eligible to register as a charity, which would make it tax exempt (for most things anyway) and help it continue to run as an event.
For most people, I suspect that "It's good enough for the law, it's good enough for me, go for it" is about as much thought as they'll need to put into it. I envy those people.
Y'see, my first question is "Are we really a charity?" When I think about what a charity is, Kiwiburn is not the first thing that springs to my mind. I see charities as existing to improve the lives of those who would not be able to achieve those improvements without the help of the charity - who do not have the options that the general public have. So yes, I do see charity as being for the disadvantaged. And the mostly white middle-class people who attend Kiwiburn are not disadvantaged - most of those people have the resources to pursue leisure activities such as those provided by Kiwiburn without the help of charity. As evidenced by being able to afford to buy themselves a ticket and get themselves there.
I do think that Kiwiburn does good things for individuals and communities. It has enhanced my life, and it has enhanced my community. It promotes art and community, and more importantly, it promotes the sort of internal change that people tend to take away and share with others, and I've seen first hand how this can change people's lives for the better. So in that sense, it does have, for want of a better word, a noble purpose.
However, I struggle with the idea that this noble purpose equates to charity, when the provision of the means to achieve this noble purpose is only to those who buy a ticket (and thus become members of Kiwiburn Inc). Is it really a charity when it exists solely for the members of the charity who pay an annual fee to be a member? Sounds more like a country club to me.
And here's my problem. Technically, Kiwiburn can achieve charity status. But in my heart I find it difficult to see Kiwiburn as a charity, and I can't help but notice that the reason this is being considered is as a means of stabilising the organisation financially. Which (again in my heart) feels like deciding on a course of action for financial reasons and then spinning it to provide an ethical rationalisation. And deep in my heart, this feels very self-serving.
I am in two minds as to whether I'm ethically ok with supporting this move. This does not mean I consider KB to be unethical, even if they do go ahead with this. It's about me, and my personal ethics, and whether I can find a balance between the self-service and the community service aspects of this decision that will sit ok on my conscience.
I want Kiwiburn to continue as an event, there is no doubt about that. But I am not sure whether I'm ok with this means of doing it.
Like I said, I envy those people who can just accept the technical, black-letter-law approach and have that be the end of it. OHAI drug policy, criminology, critical analysis person, how did you take over my head so thoroughly?
Anyway, I shall continue to put thought into this. Wise words welcome, defensive accusations can fuck the fuck off.
Tonight we are going to see Prometheus. I'm told it's shiny. I'm up for a bit of shiny, but I might dose up on painkillers first eh?