Sunday, October 22, 2006

WET WEEKEND

Holiday weekend here. I realize that I write so little about where I live: Mt Albert in Auckland. There's a part of me that's very much in the now and here. I like my neighbourhood and most aspects of my everyday life. I'm local as. I find the free suburban paper in the letterbox quite comforting, but I almost never look at the rag that calls itself a national daily. I'm detached from the search for a national identity. I suspect that many people in the land of the long white cloud share that boredom with New Zealandish hype, though we're not supposed to say this in public. I've been a guestworker here for 10 years and made it to citizenship. Give me a warm home, some friends, a job that pays the bills, works the mind, and a government that cares for the welfare of the people and the environment without having to brand the territory or big up some unitary cultural identity. But make me believe in a national fantasy and I couldn't care less. These feelings--never far below the surface of routine--bubbled up again as I watched a smidgeon of the New Zealand music awards. Various local pop culture celebrities and musicians desperately tried to sound funny as they gave out awards for a mediocre miscellany of the last year's sounds. Chug a chug chug. I'd rather listen to 1960s tunes by Montreal ye ye groups.

5 comments:

Le G said...

Yeh yeh. I agree. I could barely stomach last year's event with Dave Dobbyn closing with a stage full of musos singing along to "Welcome Home." Yeesh. I couldn't bare to sit through another one. I want to like some NZ music (and I'm hearing stuff I like - So So Modern being a good example), it just seems so devoid of that extra special something. I heard the same things coming out of Canada some years ago - you really had to be out there looking for live music, or surfing the web to find interesting music that had otherwise circumvented the usual circuits. That makes it challenging, just at the level of scouring for new things. When you add in a dollop of cultural nationalism, it all goes to pot. And as much as I might have loved Chris Knox's music way back when, he's a bit of a prat when it comes down to it.

brent said...

agreed... the tuis suck. check out the Alternatuis instead.

Anonymous said...

is a national fantasy any worse than a fantasy of globalised liminal academics hopping from blog to blog?

nabeel said...

Well anonymous, this is just name-calling. I hop on these here streets as well as worldwide blogs. Shame you don't have the courage to show yourself.

nabeel said...

Sorry anonymous, forgot to mention that my truck is with particular constructions of the national. Not the local. Most of us are globalized and localized. But if you'd rather wave flags...