Wyant in WhangareiGreyness Good; Colour Bad
I awoke at the regulation time to the usual sound of the Alliance Youth Corps goose-stepping down the main street.
Looking out the window I saw the stealth-grey choppers flying low over the city, broadcasting the usual message: "THE STATE IS SOVEREIGN."
As far as the eye could see the world was grey. The buildings were grey; clothes were grey; the streets were grey; the people themselves were grey, dyed grey in the womb.
Colourfulness, said The State, was bad because it was unfair to things that were lacking in colour. So everything was grey. Everything.
"Womb," by the way, is a euphemism. All babies were conceived and born under glass in State Labs. "People," we were told in the State Mind Camps where we were born and raised, "were too unpredictable, too dangerous, too human, to make suitable parents;" or as we were told at elementary level, "State good; human bad." Thus, The State was our mother, we had no fathers, and test tubes were our wombs.
So I slid open the door of my grey utilitarian kitchen closet, opened a grey can of grey State mush labled Mother's Breakfast, said "the state is sovereign" to the grey voice receptor, ate breakfast, and walked to my job at the local grey mush cannery.
New Zealanders finally had the country they wanted. Everything was against the law. Everything was grey. And everything and everyone belonged to The State. An outsider might wonder how 100% oppression could be imposed upon an entire population; but the fact is, it wasn't "imposed;" the people themselves ASKED for it. In fact, "asked" is too mild a word. They begged and pleaded and lobbied and held demonstrations, saying please, PLEASE take away our freedoms. Our right bear arms, to own property, to run our own lives.
Stop us from drinking and smoking and eating fat. Ban Fireworks. Make it against the law for men to find women attractive.
"WE WANT TAXES," cried the multitudes. "Please take our money. Crush us with rules, regulations, bans, licenses, permits, prohibitions and censorship. Tax us to the maxus! Please, please, please."
The politicos could hardly believe their good luck. A population that downright DEMANDED oppression. It was a dream come true, and the political parties actually began to compete in terms of who could promise THE most oppressive government.
There were a few rebels, of course, who argued that freedom was better than oppression; but they were yelled down by the New Puritan hordes, and by 2010 most of these "dangerous idealists" had been rounded up and sent to the Peace Clinics.
But there were no idealists now. Just grey mush-makers like me. And there was no way out.
I pushed the button that loaded another 2 cubic metre block of starch under the giant drop press. BLAM. I unloaded and pushed the button again. BLAM. This was my life's work. BLAM.
But wait ... yes, there WAS a way out. So long folks. BLAM.
Envy, and the New Puritanism
As a part time professional optimist I had hopes that the culture of complaint that dominated the 1990s would die a thankful death with the turn of the century ... but no such luck: the Brats of Envy are alive and kicking, and worse - they're multiplying.
Thoroughly sick of the unlimited tons of hogwash chundered out by Big Bro's lapdogs in the print media I'd been avoiding the slicks and broadsheets for months, sure that the half-truths, cake recipes and oxymorons that NZers hold so dear would continue to manifest without my acknowledgement. (Readers might herein deduce that I do not subscribe to subjective, solipsistic theories on the nature of reality, just in case the philosophy of science should happen to pop up here among the badminton results.)
But curiosity got the better of me and on Jan 23 I bought a copy of the Sunday Star Times. Perhaps, I thought, a bold new day had dawned in the hearts of the Watchdogs.
So I flick to the opinion page to see what NZ's loudest opinionizers have to say, and what do I find where the tough guys are supposed to be but a bunch of mewing babies throwing temper tantrums because they can't have the ice cream.
Emblazoned across the top of the page is a thousand word story by India Knight, syndicated from the Sunday Times, London, complaining about Celine Dion, the pop singer. Knight is bitterly outraged because Celine is rich and thin and has bad taste in wedding ceremonies ... but mainly rich and thin.
Would someone please tell me what the heck is wrong with being rich and thin? Strewth. It's the ideal situation.
Basically, India Knight is a new puritan commie. She wants everything in the world ground down to a dull grey norm, and like most of her ilk, she's too dumb to realize she's killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Tell me knight, what are you going to do for a crust when all the stars are rubbed out?
Then we Frank Hayden in a veritable paroxysm of spluttering vociferation, complaining because Jonah Lomu wants the world's loudest boombox in his car.
Frank, who cares?
And last but worst is Greg Turner, who I don't know but going by his addlepated diatribe about "the good old days" is a total knucklehead, who launches a vehement attack on the legalization of weekend shopping.
Weekend shopping, says Turner, has destroyed New Zealand, and he blabbers on about that for a while and then goes into a kind of rapture about how great the old corner dairies were because the owners knew the customers and everything was homey and cutsie and funsie.
Sure. And I'm the man in the moon.
First of all, the dairy owners of old were not especially friendly. They were snide and officious mini-tyrants. Since there wasn't any competition they could afford to be bastards because the poor shoppers had nowhere else to go.
Not that it mattered much considering the only available food was sheep meat and cabbages.
By the bye, in the few dairies that bothered to stay open on the weekends, all the shelves containing merchandise deemed by the govt to be "non-essential," i.e., everything other than sheep meat and cabbages, were covered with big canvas tarpaulins and it was against the law to buy or sell therefrom.
By chance or design this one page of Star/Times opinion encapsulates the ideals of the new puritanism perfectly: Eat the rich; crush the beautiful; ban fun; go back to the caves.
The horrible irony of the new puritanism is that it's founded upon the filthiest of all sins, Envy. In fact, I predict that the next decade will someday be known as the Age Of Envy, and that its byword will be Normalization.
And now the Greater Lame and Feeble-Minded have voted in NZ's first official New Puritan Government, where Envy is a virtue and Success is a crime.
It's tempting to say I'll see you in Hell, except I won't be going there. I only go where the beautiful go and where the brightest stars shine.
The Message is Jim Beam
It was a normal day here at the Wyant Anvil And Engine Block Storage Company.
My beloved secretary, Miss September, a stacked blonde in a sprayed-on panther suit, was working on the accounts; Tom Hunk, my right-hand man, was cleaning up an engine block with a turpsy rag; and I was out back having my mid-morning dope and booze break.
Life, I mused, doesn't get much better than this.
Ten minutes later, however, this peaceful and industrious scene was shot down the tubes like a sack of fish guts when a slimey little federal agent walked in, plonked a massive two-ring binder on the counter, and handed me his card.
Moa Moamoa, it said. Inspector for the Dept. of Standardized Reality.
I was wondering how someone as white as a fish belly could have a name like Moa Moamoa, when he spoke up.
"We all have Maori names to indicate solidarity with the suffering minorities so ruthlessly crushed under the heels of the white fascist pigs," he said.
"Fuck you," I said.
He smiled a slimey little federal smile. "Your crimes against humanity are grievous," he said. "Sexism. Racism. Beautifulism. Do you really want to add the use of illegal language to the list?"
So while we stood around in various states of boiling rage and flabbergastedness Moa Moamoa told me about all the laws I'd been breaking, how I could redeem myself, and what would happen if I didn't.
First of all, all my employees were white. Second, all my employees were beautiful. And third, I was guilty of sexist stereotyping, forcing the male to lug anvils around and assigning the female to office work.
"Disgusting," muttered Moa Moamoa.
According to Section 4,978 B of The Manifesto, he said, the correct staff for a business such as mine would be a maori lesbian with a club foot, an old fat white dyslexic woman, and a blind mexican.
"Miz September," said Moa Moamoa; "if you are afraid to speak freely in front of this ruthless tyrant you can always come to headquarters and make an official statement, expressing the cruel exploitation and stereotyping that you have been subjected to."
"Listen up runt," said Miss September. "First of all, don't call me Miz, Mizter. Second of all, men don't exploit me; I exploit THEM. I'll have you know that I've made a lot of money exploiting men."
"You tell "em Miss September," I said.
Tom Hunk piped up. "I don't really want to do office work CL," he said. "I don't understand office work."
"Don't worry Tom," I said. "No one's going to make you do office work."
"You poor downtrodden workers," said Moa Moamoa. "So thoroughly has this fiend brainwashed you that you actually believe you are capable of independent thought."
"But we will help you," he continued. "Mr Hunk, you WILL do office work. Miz September, you WILL clean engine blocks. And Mr Wyant, you will be fined $50,000 and sentenced to three years in a Normalization Camp. We will save you. We will save you from your minds. THE STATE IS SOVEREIGN!"
At this moment came a roaring, rushing, sound, and then we saw water creeping over the land, inwards and upwards, pouring and pouring, like the Red Sea closing in.
In a sudden intuitive flash I saw what was happening. The whole country was sinking under the weight of government departments.
Moving quickly I clubbed the agent to death and inflated him with an air-compressor, and when the waters closed in we used him for a float.
Science doesn't fully understand what happened next, but the general hunch is that the government departments proved so void of human substance that they disolved and washed away, and the land mass, relieved of its oppressive burden, resurfaced.
Anyway, after wiping the seaweed off my shoulders and disentangling a crayfish from Miss September's hair, I checked my watch. It was one oclock in the afternoon.
"Team," I said; "there is no God but God and Jim Beam is his messenger. Let's party."
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