It’s all about meeee!

A scooter-rid­ing gang who suit them­selves... Where do I join? asks Fiona Bar­ber.

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - Viewpoint -

Afew years ago, my friend Carol was hell­bent on form­ing a sect. The He­donistas, as she dubbed them, would ride around on their scoot­ers and do what­ever they damn well pleased. The pur­suit of plea­sure was the only per­for­mance ob­jec­tive and my friend, who pro­fesses to be “shal­low as a bird bath” (but is, in fact, any­thing but), would be the head He­donista.

The idea was warmly em­braced, es­pe­cially af­ter the sec­ond wine on girls’ week­ends. But it was also planted firmly in Bonkers Ter­ri­tory just a few blocks away from Trump Tow­ers.

Trou­ble is, some­where along the line fan­tasy mor­phed into re­al­ity. Over the past decade or two there has been a marked shift to­wards self-grat­i­fi­ca­tion and to hell with any­one or any­thing else. It’s often couched as “free­dom” or “tai­lored”, but it re­ally means you can suit your fat-ar­sed self.

No­ticed the ads on TV lately? You can have what you want, when you want it. No need to wait and to hell with the planet/fel­low hu­man be­ings/an­i­mals. The “we” has seeped out of the rhetoric and the slo­gans, re­placed by “you”. It is, af­ter all, all about you.

There are no­table ex­cep­tions – vol­un­teer groups, char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions, unions, some re­li­gions in­cluded – but by and large, it seems too many of us have ac­qui­esced, come to ac­cept the creep of couldn’t-care-less.

For­mer PM John Key soothed us into feel­ing “com­fort­able” about so much dur­ing his slip­pery reign ( North & South writer Gra­ham Adams clev­erly dubbed him the Lul­laby PM), we be­came de­sen­si­tised to things that used to make our heads ex­plode. You know, small things like bro­ken cities, hun­gry kids and the yawn­ing chasm be­tween our rich and poor.

Is it just me, or are we wak­ing up? Is there a change in the wind, a swing of the pen­du­lum, a col­lec­tive sense that though the world will never be truly fair, let’s try and even it out just a bit?

Some of the young have mo­bilised. They may not be able to buy houses, but by crikey they know how to buy into a just cause – the ones who’ve got more than their next fam­i­ly­funded hol­i­day to Hawaii in mind, that is.

I have great hope in them – but if it all turns to cus­tard, look out for me among a fleet of scooter-rid­ing mid­dle-aged women zip­ping by.

Carol will be the stylish one in the Che Gue­vara T-shirt and I’ll be the de­ranged-look­ing one with the “Sod off!” tat­too. On my fore­head.

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