I have an idea

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, December 25th, 2016 - 12 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, The Standard - Tags:

What’s your preferred Christmas paradigm? As a judgmental arse I find it calming to label every one of the people I meet over the next 48 hours under one of these labels:

If you hate Christmas shopping and gifts as pretty much meaningless and classist, you’ll probably go for Marx. Or Scrooge. Somewhere in there. Pick up some Marx summary notes and start from there.

If you get frustrated and ticked off with family infighting and crying and shouting and other neurotic displacement activities, well, at base you’re probably a Freudian or a Jungian. Make a symbol, write a little story or curse on it and then burn it.

If you’re just waiting for the next wine, next chocolate, and next present to be unwrapped, but can’t be sure if the next one will be quite as pleasurable as the last one, in fact whether your present and your salad concoction is as good as your sisters’, you are a straight Mills utilitarian.

If you find yourself wanting to run for the hills, lighting large beachside bonfires, getting drunk on starlight alone and raging against the futility of all the oppression and masculinist toxicity you see, well you might take some comfort in Women Who Run With the Wolves, feminist pagans, a little Helene Cixous or Mary Daly or some such.

If you find yourself jumping spontaneously off the couch after watching television advertising and running into the street with a bunch of close colleagues and a box of explosives preparing to blow the nearest mall out to the ocean at the sheer stupidity and waste of it all, you’re an anarchist.

If you find yourself crooning along to Jim Reeves singing The Old Rugged Cross on a guitar, getting all misty-eyed with your older aunties as they tell you how hard things were in the 1930s and your uncles explain again about the different role of gunners in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and agreeing with them about how interesting Trump is going to make things, then you are an evangelical. Their toilet will have a Readers Digest in it for your pleasure.

If you find yourself trying to theorize about the meaning of love mediated through Catholic Christmas carols, try Kristeva’s In The Beginning Was Love, or lullaby to a little Ellul.

If you are already into the third draft of the 2017 project plan of your life about how you are going to practise your nascent virtues including cycling to work, eating more Kale, doing more hand-washing, and completing your ironing on a Sunday evening, you are an Aristotelian, practicing your Nichomachean ethics. Not enough of you on the planet, and you know it.

Turn off the tv.

Turn on the ideas.

It’s good for us all.

12 comments on “I have an idea”

  1. Anne 1

    I’m a teeny bit of all of them. What does that make me?

    List of dos:
    Make the salad, wrap the prezzies, grab the wine and its off to the wild hills(?) of Pt. Chevalier for a family Xmas rave up. 2017 will have to look after itself. 🙂

    Merry Xmas and a Happy New year Ad – and to everyone else.

  2. Blue Eye 2

    I’m a teeny bit of all of them. What does that make me?

    Glued “still”

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    And if a person spends their Christmas categorising and labeling people, what does that mean? Managerialism; intellectualism; detachment from society? or just bored with the day?

    Anyway. Have a good summer season, everyone.

    Had a very enjoyable day yesterday with the small NZ-based contingent of my family + dogs, had a very tasty Xmas dinner, enjoyed the warmish weather outside.

    So now for a very relaxing day.

  4. lprent 4

    Personally I spend a lot of my time trying to avoid cutting off the ends of my fingers. I do salads a lot. And a lot of knife sharpening….

    Happy Christmas everyone. And Ba humbug to you all…

  5. adam 5

    Now days most anarchist have actually got around to reading Tolstoy – so the idea of blowing things up becomes abhorrent – mind you, in the end, so many young anarchist just do themselves in.

    Happy we use to have a moral center day.

    I superpose the (new) good news is, as we have kept on shopping, the terrorists have not won yet!

  6. The labels don’t encompass many types I see.

    Have an enjoyable festive season.

  7. Meh…. sleep.

  8. Incidentally , Peter Cullen , who wrote up an article which was viewed in several major news outlets regarding Pike River and is a partner in an employment law firm , – in an obviously pro National party stance – has posted an article on none other than , you guessed it :
    KIWIBLOG !!!

    Interesting , – as the same day that original article came out , I emailed him thus :

    ‘ I saw the article you wrote in several papers today more over Stuff business day .In it you reinforce the standard line coming from both Solid Energy and the National party.

    That is , … that the mine is inherently dangerous and cannot be reentered , citing rock falls and above all else – high methane levels. Are you aware of the explosive mix of methane?…. it lies in the vicinity of around 4.5 % to 17 %.

    You are quoting erroneous information as currently the mine sits at around 98% methane. You speak of Solid Energy’s decision as if they have been open to other expert opinion. They consistently have not been. Perhaps the biggest chink in your argument comes from these links :

    The plan to re-enter the mine (pdf)
    Rowland and Moreby review (pdf)
    Robinson review (pdf)

    Here we have eminent world experts refuting Solid Energy’s claims.

    Prepared by Mr. Robert Stevenson & Dr. David Creedy 12-9-2016 , and endorsed by Brian Robinson. Mines Rescue Consultant / Officer 144 Glebe Road, Loughor, Swansea, SA4 6SL, Great Britain , and Mr John Rowland Dallas Mining Services Pty Ltd, and Dr Roy Moreby , Monvent Mining Ltd.

    You also raise the objections that Bill English and his predecessor made in saying it is not a ‘political decision ‘ but a ‘ health and safety one’ .

    This is a cop out and has been answered by the above party’s by the creation of a separate entity. Furthermore, any attempt by Solid Energy to seal of the mine would be evidence of a recalcitrant attitude by Solid Energy in light of the recent Commerce Commissions willingness to hear submissions.

    Adding to that , – there is no reason why special dispensation to set up an entity designated especially for this purpose could and should be created through cross – party parliamentary legislation.

    If only to investigate possible causes of the explosion and for future mine safety and the gleaning of forensic evidence with which to determine culpability. That fact that no one has been charged and that Whittall was let off by a deal cut by Worksafe NZ and Whittall’s insurance company leads to the conclusion that justice can be bought in this country.

    I would suggest to you that in future that if you are going to post an opinion piece for influencing the public and for their consumption you at least make an attempt to get the facts straight and relay all the relevant details to the public and not just be selective in order to pander to a particular political viewpoint. ‘

    And today , – on KIWIBLOG , no less – suspicions confirmed as to who this guy is pitching his story for – Here is the link to what Peter Cullen had to say on KIWIBLOG :


    ” What was that you said about birds of a feather sticking together , Trev ? ”

    • Edit :

      * Peter Cullens original article came out on Stuff and various other media outlets on 21/12/2016 .

      * Cullen writes Kiwiblog article on 24/12/2016.

      Working for the Good Old Boys , we now see….

      • WILD KATIPO 8.1.1

        Further edit :

        It appears Farrar has added his own ‘ insights’ to this issue with commentary under what he perceives as ‘ pertinent ‘ points.

        But we all know why Farrar has gone into bat for Peter Cullen and his news articles , don’t we… so much for amalgamation of our news media . And just WHO wants that to happen and why….

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    In my family of origin, the minute school got out for the holidays we piled into the car and headed for a bach. That’s my idea of Christmas, get out of town ASAP.

    It avoids a lot of problems with unwanted gifts, fancy meals, and awkward relatives.

  10. We had a wonderful meal with all our family (10) had a glass of NZ red .Then returned to our childhood and watched Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. Then marveled at the genius of Walt Disney,

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