The trou­ble with side part­ings

Rotorua Daily Post - - OUR PEOPLE -

Ihave a the­ory that side part­ings cause much se­ri­ous trou­ble in the world, and some­thing needs to be done about it. The part­ing en­dures among con­ser­va­tive men — Si­mon Bridges among them — who long to slick the world down and run a comb through it, men who want ev­ery­one pat­ted down nicely so they can charge ahead with the busi­ness of run­ning things.

It’s a look that harks back to the short-back-and-sides hair­cuts of the re­turned ser­vice­men of former times, who fought hard against the mod­ern world, with all its con­fu­sion, but lost the bat­tle.

A mi­nor but typ­i­cal ex­am­ple is Clem Ready, the Glo­ri­avale cult fa­ther of 13 chil­dren he’s had a habit of beat­ing.

There is a rea­son why males of uptight be­liefs and side part­ings set up walls to keep their fam­i­lies well away from the dan­ger of ideas.

Wives and chil­dren must sub­mit to their ab­so­lute rule or face os­tracism, which they’re told is the worst pun­ish­ment imag­in­able.

Be­ing op­pressed and bad­gered with re­li­gion, they be­lieve it.

Ready sought name sup­pres­sion af­ter plead­ing guilty to as­sault­ing two of his daugh­ters, but failed to get it. He may still think he’s do­ing the right thing, though. In a cult of to­tal fe­male sub­servience, the side part­ing makes or­di­nary men tyrants.

In Brazil, a side part­ing with sim­i­lar is­sues won the first round of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion this past week, in spite of its wearer be­ing stabbed on the cam­paign trail.

Jair Bol­sonaro de­scribes his party as “the path of pros­per­ity, lib­erty, fam­ily, on God’s side,” claim­ing that tor­ture is okay, a re­lax­ation of gun laws is a good idea, and so is bring­ing back the death penalty to deal with ris­ing crime.

Bol­sonaro says he wants, “not a sin­gle square cen­time­tre” of Brazil to be set aside for its indige­nous peo­ple, who he says want, “elec­tric­ity, tele­vi­sion, blonde girl­friends and in­ter­net,” not to live their tra­di­tional way of life in the vast Ama­zon.

I doubt whether he’s asked the indige­nous peo­ple, who prob­a­bly think blonde women are hideous, but when you have a side part­ing you just say things and they’re true.

Nat­u­rally, like Don­ald Trump, whose hair de­fies clas­si­fi­ca­tion, Bol­sonaro doesn’t be­lieve in cli­mate change. Or le­gal abor­tion. Or sav­ing the great for­est, which he’d rather see cov­ered in min­ing and earth­mov­ing equip­ment. The quick profit is the side part­ing way.

How like the think­ing be­hind our own at­tack on gi­ant land snails found in 2003 on the edge of a mine on the West Coast.

To­day the snails live in plas­tic con­tain­ers in a fridge, and face ex­tinc­tion, their habi­tat gone. Coal is al­ready out of favour, and the min­ing com­pany is in liq­ui­da­tion. But never mind.

The mega side part­ing of the mo­ment be­longs to Brett Ka­vanagh, pre­dictably sworn in as a judge of Amer­ica’s Supreme Court.

Ac­cused by one woman of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her in his youth, his down­play­ing of his ex­ces­sive drink­ing back then con­tra­dicted by peo­ple who knew him, what­ever.

His part­ing will grace the top bench for the rest of his life, long af­ter peo­ple for­get — if that’s pos­si­ble — how the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent vi­ciously ridiculed the woman who tes­ti­fied against him.

It’s some com­fort that this year’s No­bel Peace Prize went not to a preen­ing Trump, but a Con­golese sur­geon and an Iraqi Yazidi ac­tivist and vic­tim of Is­lamic State’s abuse, who cam­paign against sex­ual vi­o­lence as a weapon of war.

What with #MeToo you’d al­most think women mat­tered.

PHOTO / AP

Pres­i­den­tial fron­trun­ner Jair Bol­sonaro, of the So­cial Lib­eral Party, flashes vic­tory signs to sup­port­ers af­ter vot­ing at a polling sta­tion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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