Monday, July 11, 2016

Article for the Herald No1.

There was this little video thing on Facebook this morning, one of those suggested post thingies that comes and goes and are usually little more than fillers and you don't really want to click as you know facebook, in it's infinite and insatiable wisdom in knowing what's right for you, is going to log that and chase you like it now knows who you are and 'exactly' what you're into.

This one though, this little innocuous film, seemed to touch me somehow as worth further investigation, the chosen still and that particular grouping of words spoke somehow, even if it was 'seems irrelevant, but what's seeing itself as relevant now?'

The thing is that if I was a proper writer, with an education and such like, I suppose I would have at least made notes, grabbed book marks, tagged, bagged and snagged this particular nugget of potential wisdom creation, but I didn't. Somewhat 'cause I'm not a proper writer but mostly because I prefer seeing whether something relevant sticks, letting stuff go, but then wondering why it comes back... long after the ability to even be bothered trying to find it comes back and kicks me in the foot I shoot myself mistakenly by even noticing whatever.

The thing was this video was so modern, so up to date but lacking too, that's what got me. A youtube channel in the making, how to be savvy with cash, and some ridiculous mixing of appellative possibilities supposed to feign real understanding... and even her head and body were moving heaps, alike TV people do as if the puppets hand up inside them is covered in biting ants, but then, and this is the crux, there was just nothing there. Dare I say it? No soul.

Maybe it was because it was nothing more than common sense, the cut and thrust of it's subject, and yet there just wasn't a sense of what might be that which common sense sits in – wisdom - it felt there was absolutely no wisdom there... it was just empty expression, the brand new middle class playground.

Okay, what was it about? Basically living within ones means. That the more you make, moneywise, the more you want and this hedonism, and that's where I think they felt it was quite clever somehow, that by mentioning hedonism everything would suddenly be understood and we'd see ourselves in the light of this offered wisdom, subscribe to this youtube channel, and everything will be alright simply because we shifted a little and got a cheaper house and had holidays we could actually afford.

Me then, at the moment, I'm going through the maze of signing up to get the dole, which is a complete story in itself how stupid it's become... Oops, how inhuman it feels to be subjected to the lowest line of defense in the huge bulwark of governmental caring and sharing, and so way, way, way down the bottom of a ladder that's even ceased to be a ladder with rungs and seems merely to be a frayed set of strands even unable to carry my weight... never mind someone who really needs it as a lifeline.

This video then seems contemptuously lazy, a kind of ludicrous caring carefully gift wrapped in its own intellectual blandness whereby the attainment of at least some comfort and security, whereby those muchly required tools of self aggrandisement, those puzzlemakers of belonging, the cell phone with 4G capability and a PC, at the least, with a video program for editing, basically somehow means you can turn those long moments of free time into advice worth hearing for the rest of the world to listen. As if we've reached that summit of well being and a subscribed youtube channel is going to tick that box... but really, and I'm sorry that it's so middle class, it's really just more nothing stacked on top of even more nothing.

Me, again then, I've had a weird life choosing art, and a life within that, almost as a last option when coming from the working class and not fitting how I was supposed to but trying anyway, have ended up quite well set up to the point where I don't actually need the dole except it'll help me out for a week or two, maybe more, so I can get up and running a thing on boosted to build little shacks in the driveway and sell a few on trade me and use that to both make more shacks to give away to people who need them... and pay myself a wage to get an actual art project off the ground.

Problem is that I got myself so well set up I nearly disappeared from the system so getting back in has been interesting.

As a reference, way back in the 90's when I was having fun running around town building shops for people mainly using rubbish from bins and skips to do so, I couldn't figure out whether I was clever or stupid and figured getting an IQ test might result in me knowing either way. I did a little research and found out that getting a test done, ten bucks, to get into Mensa, yah or nah, was the cheapest option... and I passed.

So here I am now, almost completely penniless, running about from one government department to the next then shuffling it through and amongst my brand new fifty dollar cellphone and the PC made from bit's found on the side of the road and the simple truth is that the Mensa test was way simpler than getting through the maze of connected savvy that getting on the dole seems to have become in the 8 years I haven't been on it.

Possibly relevant too is that when I went off, when that decision was made, it was the morning after Helen Clark's Labour thing came to an end. The very first day of National's new reign and even before we got onto the computers down at 'find a job' HQ we were all herded outside, at the offices for such on Lovegrove crescent way out here in Otara, and were told by this angry bureaucratic Nazi that it was all our fault... what? That us there at the very bottom of the heap, us merely requiring a little help just to survive and find the very first slippery rung, had created, in our ignorance, in our laziness and in our rudimentary, at best, wisdom of the system, had failed it and brought to pass this apocalypse of political fortitude demolished.

I mean going in each and every weekday, for an hour, to look for jobs that didn't exist was one thing but being part of the system that enabled this morally superior collector of the government stipend to stand on a soapbox and elucidate such repugnant crapola... that was just too much.

And all of this, I'm thinking, goes back a week of two, maybe more - like I said, research, taking notes, not me – to when I saw our Prime Minister, him who shall not be named, standing at the doors of Winz and saying “Just come visit here, all help given” or somesuch non-chalant similarity, and so I did.

So what happens now? What is my clarion call? Maybe it is, if I even have one, is that answers don't work anymore, we think they do... they look as if they do, my God, the whole brunt of media seems to be that the right questions are being asked and the right answers are being sought. What I would say to that is the middle class has become a hot air machine receptor, an empty balloon of not even biodegradable materials... I wonder if anyone is holding the rope?

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