Saturday, July 09, 2011

Should 'kupapa' be a swear word?

There have been some interesting responses across the left-wing blogosphere to Hone Harawira's recent byelection victory in Te Tai Tokerau. I wanted to focus, in my usual pedantic way, on a minor detail of one of the reactions to Hone's win at The Standard. In a post written to congratulate Hone, Eddie said that the Mana Party's rise would be good for the left, as well as a serious blow to the 'kupapa Maori Party'.

I understand that the word 'kupapa' was first used to describe Maori who supported the Crown in the series of 'New Zealand Wars' which began in the 1840s and lasted until the early 1870s. Maori fought on the side of Pakeha in virtually every one of the wars, and in some of the conflicts - the guerilla war against Te Kooti, for example - the great majority of government forces were brown-skinned.

Sometimes an entire iwi took the side of the government - Ngati Porou, for example, was an indefatigable ally of Wellington in the fight against Te Kooti. In other instances, though, tribes were divided over which side to support, and different hapu could wind up fighting each other. Most of the Waikato peoples took the side of King Tawhiao when his rohe was invaded by thousands of British and colonial troops in July 1863, but a few of them sided with the invaders.

Sometimes the same warriors fought for and against the Crown at different stages of the New Zealand Wars. Te Kooti, for example, began his military career as part of a pro-Crown army besieging the pa of Waerenga a hika, near modern-day Gisborne, where a force of 'hauhaus' had holed up. After being falsely accused of spying for the rebels and suffering deportation to the Chatham Islands, though, Te Kooti launched his own war of rebellion against the government in Wellington.

In the late twentieth century, the word 'kupapa' began to be used on the left to describe any Maori who was deemed to have a subservient relationship with the government, or with any Pakeha-dominated organisation opposed to the interests of Maori. The Maori cops deployed against anti-Springbok demonstrations in 1981 were sometimes called 'kupapa' by the protesters they fought; Donna Awatere was dubbed a 'kupapa Maori' when she joined the newly-minted Act Party in the mid-'90s; and now Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, who sit at the table with Tories and have voted for budgets which cut taxes or the rich and slashed spending on community education, are being branded with the k-word.

I yield to no one in my opposition to the alliance Sharples and Turia have made with National, and I certainly have no problem with them being pilloried at The Standard. I wonder, though, whether there is not something misguided about the use of 'kupapa' as an insult.

The implication behind the derogatory use of 'kupapa' seems to be that Maori who supported the Crown during the wars of the nineteenth century were and are contemptible. The hundreds of Te Arawa and Ngati Porou fighters who hunted Te Kooti through the hinterland of the Te Maui a Ika, the warriors who defended the settler town of W(h)anganui in the battle of Moutoua, the great Nga Puhi rangatira Waka Nene, who fought Hone Heke in the Flagstaff War of the 1840s: all of them must have been deluded, or treacherous, or both, if they can be compared to the likes of Awatere and the Maori cops who fought the Patu Squad in 1981.

Few people on the left would dispute the assertion that the New Zealand Wars were exercises in imperialism, and that the victories Crown forces won on battelefields like Rangiriri and Nga Tapa led to the separation of many iwi from their land and to the cultural and political marginalisation of all Maori. But do the consequences of the New Zealand Wars mean that we can condemn those Maori who chose to fight for the Crown? To take such a position is to lose all sense of historical perspective, and to deny the rationality and agency of kupapa iwi and hapu. It also means ignoring the work some of New Zealand's most distinguished historians have done in recent decades.

Many late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Pakeha historians liked to counterpose the 'loyal' or 'friendly' kupapa Maori to those 'fanatical' or 'barbarous' iwi which supported 'rebels' like Tawhiao and Te Kooti. In his splenetic biography of Te Kooti, WH Ross presents the war with the prophet as a manichean struggle between civilisation, in the form of the Crown and its 'loyal' Ngati Porou and Te Arawa subjects, and the brainwashed, bloodthirsty creed of 'hauhauism'. The pro-Crown Maori had seen the light, and wanted to become honourary Britons; Te Kooti's mob wanted to wallow in an evil pre-Christian past.

Later historians have shown more subtlety than Ross. In his book The New Zealand Wars and the TV series that followed it, Jamie Belich argued that different Maori groups took different sides in the conflicts for reasons related to Maori history and sociology. Belich pointed out that the decentralised nature of Maori society and a history of inter-iwi warfare meant that, in the middle decades of the nineteenth century, many iwi perceived other Maori, and not the European interlopers, as their most serious enemies. Although some iwi united against the coloniser, others saw a tactical alliance with the Crown as a way to recover lost land and mana. A few Maori groups sided with the Crown for economic reasons. The iwi who lived near the mouth of the Whanganui River, for example, were doing a good business trading with Pakeha, and didn't want to see the newcomers driven away by the attacks of iwi who lived upriver.

Some iwi showed considerable cunning in their dealings with the Crown. Ngati Porou, for instance, volunteered to fight against their ancient enemies in Tuhoe Country, who had given shelter to Te Kooti, but demanded that the Crown supply them with arms. After their campaign against Te Kooti, Ngati Porou refused to return their guns to the Pakeha, and told the government in Wellington that they would use the weapons against any outsiders who tried to acquire their land. Ngati Porou's tactics helped them hold onto much of their rohe.

There are interesting parallels between the manoeuvres of kupapa Maori and the decisions of other colonised peoples to make tactical alliances with their coloniser. During the English Civil War the nation of Cornwall, which still enjoyed a fair degree of autonomy from England, sided with Charles I against Cromwell's Roundheads. Charles I may have been an incompetent autocrat with grotesque and outdated ideas about his divine right to rule, but he was prepared to tolerate Cornwall's distinctive culture, and the ornate, strongly Celtic brand of Christianity practiced there. Cromwell, by contrast, sent his troops to trash the peninsula's 'idolatrous' churches. In nineteenth century India the Sikh people were recruited in large numbers to the colonial British security forces, and played an important role in repressing nationalist uprisings like the 'Indian Mutiny' of 1857. Although Sikhs can be seen in hindsight to have been fighting on the wrong side of history, their alliance with the coloniser was not the product of foolishness, or simple treachery. As a small religious and ethnic minority subject to persecution from both Hindus and Muslims, they chose to throw in their lot with an external power. We ought to be able to recognise that, like the Cornish and the Sikhs, kupapa Maori had rational reasons for siding with the Crown, and that they do not deserve to be treated with contempt.

It might be argued that, as a Pakeha, I have no business debating the meaning of the word 'kupapa'. I think, though, that Pakeha have a vested interest in the way that the kupapa Maori of the nineteenth century are viewed in the twenty-first century. If we can create an honourable place in New Zealand history for the kupapa Maori, by acknowledging that they had good reasons for making what was ultimately the wrong decision, then we might also be able to find a way of remembering the Pakeha settlers of the nineteenth century without either celebrating or condemning them. It is certainly true that, like the kupapa Maori, many of the soldier-settlers who fought in the New Zealand Wars came from places - Ireland, Highland Scotland, Cornwall, the miserable mill towns of nothern England - which were assailed by the same economic system which made enemies of Tawhiao and Te Kooti. For Highland Scots forced off their land by the enclosures and mill workers suffering subsistence wages, the decision to emigrate to a new country on the other side of the world was not hard to make.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: which side would Hongi Hika have taken in the NZ Wars?

4:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the news today

A cultural commentator is slamming the ACT Party's latest election campaigning technique.

The party's taken out a half-page newspaper advertisement, with the headline "Fed up with pandering to Maori radicals?"

Auckland University Professor Emeritus Dr Ranginui Walker is outraged.

"It's bereft of political ideas, it's bereft of social policies and all we can do is dog whistle back to the 19th century, it's a party that's in a time warp," says Mr Walker.

4:54 pm  
Blogger Sherry said...

Marvellous post, maps. "If we can create an honourable place in New Zealand history for the kupapa Maori, by acknowledging that they had good reasons..., then we might also be able to find a way of remembering the Pakeha settlers of the nineteenth century without either celebrating or condemning them." All good. There is also the (V. IMPORTANT) matter of New Zealand's distinctive (and growing) language base. We need to get these words (and others descending from both Maori and European origins) RIGHT in usage. Yr post is really good for that; right language usage = "good folk thinking" Thank you.

8:49 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Good points Maps.

You are pointing to the complexity of history, the contradictions.

Now you can understand the need for Mao tse Tung to make an alliance with the US (or a "treaty"). But of course everyone knows that treaties are really pretty weak things and can be torn up or ignored and usually are...

Thus he had (correctly) identified the USSR as a militaristic and ideologically dangerous Imperialist power right on his or China's borders.

So seeing that the USSR had long ago reverted to a form of state (assisted) capitalism (which more or less exists now in China also (but not in quite the same form)) and autocratic control and abandoning any attempt to involve people at all levels of democratic control of the means of production and the state...

They were as close as one could get to Nazi Germany* although perhaps the USSR "under" Stalin was more like that. But no one seriously looked to the USSR for inspiration after about 1930...China after 1980 (to gives a good margin)...except that lessons had been learned from Marxism and its ideological offspring...so it is all not quite so simple I suppose).

So, analyzing the contradictions, he outlines that the bourgeois liberal democratic countries (while indeed Capitalist and Imperialist and "hungry" and dangerous in their own way (but "paper tigers")) are beset internally by many internal and external conflicting contradictions** as in fact there are conflicts etc between Capitalist states and indeed between the USSR also); so an alliance or at least a detente, means that an attack on China by the USSR will mean a joint attack on the USSR by China and the US, and attack on the US by the USSR will mean a counter attack by China and the US, and an attack on USSR by the US will mean a counter attack by the USSR and China.

This symbiotic arrangement maximizes China's survival chances. Of course it is all pretty crazy!!

The USSR had long been by the time Nixon visited China, a hollow place where all vestiges or real socialism had gone. It was a cynical and corrupt military complex and was trading (and often cooperating) with the US in big way. These Imperialist nations cooperate and compete.

China was also, inevitably, drifting away from socialism.
As I said to two communists in a conversation in the 70s "When China goes Revisionist." (They protested "if"...I wasn't sure.)

But you say there is no "Maoist nation"...well nor is there any Trotskyite or Leninist nation.
But Capital is still terrified of Communism.

(None of this argues for communism as being necessarily desirable. How can any future "system" be evaluated when it has never existed?).

Capitalism still seems to be the most successful economic system so far in human history. Which is a bit of a worry, but seems unfortunately to be true.

This way of seeming to be kupapa (as perhaps China might be seen to be (and the USSR with Germany before the war to buy time to arm etc)) is perhaps parallel to what is described here in your post.

*But nations such as the USSR and France also gave a good rendition in their foreign wars (Vietnam, Algeria and I think also of the occupation of the Marshals (horrific) and France's of Tahiti etc but many other nations were to be involved in such adventures...NZ in the Pacific and Indonesia and so on).

**And it could be seen that not all the people of the US or the USSR were in favour of their country's actions or even their political-economic structures. And there are good and progressive things in these nations despite their ostensible structure or “appearance”.

11:45 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Re Hongi Hika it is hard to say. Was he a kind of Maori Napoleon? He was a great warrior (or was he a mad man?) and very intelligent but as Maps points out Maori (who didn't call themselves Maori before the Europeans came) saw themselves as separate tribes in many ways. The King Movement came a bit later (then the time of the musket wars etc.)

His (nephew?) Hone Heke protested the British.

Frm what I have read of Waka Nane for example he was a great man also...

Te Kooti was clearly not unsinning but he was also pretty close to a military genius himself.

NZ's history is clearly complex and troubled examined under a close historical lens.

11:55 pm  
Blogger Con said...

Is it merely an 'insult', though, to label the MP as 'kupapa'? I don't see that you made that case at all. Didn't Turia and Sharples et al also have their 'good reasons' for aligning their party with the Nats?

12:32 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks Shirley. Your points about language reminded me of the Pacific Languages Campaign, which was founded in Auckland earlier this year after the government ended support for a Samoan-language publication. The Campaign, which seems to be picking up momentum, wants to make five Pasifika tongues - Samoan, Cook Islands Maori, Niuean, Tokelauan, and Tongan - into officially recognised languages of this country, though it doesn't necessarily aim to give them the exact same status as English and Maori. It'll be very interesting to see how they get on.

Con: I guess I'd argue that Sharples and Turia possess better access to information and historical hindsight than, say, a group of Ngati Porou chiefs in the 1860s, and that they should be able to see that allying a party which is (or, at least, was) supported by the poorest people in the country with the party of the rich is bound to end in disaster.

I think the Maori Party's last hope of avoiding oblivion was to accept Mana's offer of a truce, but I just heard on the radio that they've rejected Hone's overtures. What extraordinary hubris!

I'll have to ponder the Mao argument Richard: I've been meaning to ask cdes Arnold and Dewe what they think of the issue...

1:27 pm  
Blogger Sensa said...

Off the subject slightly, but it seems the military contingent from French Polynesia will be doing a haka on July 14th before the president (Bastille Day). The word is that they have been asked not to poke out their tongues! I saw a section of it, in rehearsal yesterday on the Champs Elysses for the big day. Frankly, it does look pretty impressive.

10:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Act Party marketing director John Ansell has quit after criticising "white cowards" for not standing up against Maori radicals.

Leader Don Brash confirmed he accepted Ansell's resignation today.

The new leader refused to be drawn on the details surrounding Ansell's departure.

"It's an employment issue and it's not appropriate to discuss in the media."

Ansell, who designed the Iwi/Kiwi billboards, attacked "white cowards" for not standing up against the "Maorification" of the country, the NZ Herald reported.

"These guys (Maori) have gone from the stone age to the space age in 150 years and haven't said thanks. That's the nature of the thing. In Maori world, if one tribe conquers another you eat the guys' eyeballs. The Brits were pretty civilised by that standard," Ansell reportedly said.

Prime Minister John Key was also the target of Ansell's venom in the article.

He labelled Key the "most lilly-livered Prime Minister" and an "idiot".

11:20 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

And over at Kiwiblog the Ansell/Act saga has led to a few more believers in the Celtic New Zealand nonsense coming out of the woodwork in this comments thread:
http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz
/2011/07/the_difference_
between_maori_and_mana_
parties.html#comment-851185

11:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the first time former Act leader Rodney Hide has taken a swipe at the man who rolled him.

Hide has labelled Brash's newspaper ads divisive and said it's not the way political leaders should behave.

Don Brash has defended the advertisement that prompted cries of outrage and accusations of racism over the weekend. The half-page ad ran with the headline "Fed up with pandering to Maori radicals?".

The ad urged people to vote for Act to stop National handing over the country for Maori Party votes, saying the country has been "slowly morphing into a state where those who are Maori have more rights than those who are not".

12:36 am  
Anonymous Alpha Kiwi said...

SOMETHING TO DISCUSS

Some people like to compare NZ with Singapore or Scandinavia economically, but the people and conditions are just too different.
New Zealand could try a radical experiment where they split the North Island and South Island into tow distinct economic systems.

The closest we could get to seeing how NZ reacts to two different types of economic systems would be by comparing the North Island and South Island using different economic systems.

Conditions:
North Island more to the left of the spectrum and South Island more to the right.

North Island:
Higher progressive income tax rates, higher company tax, high welfare, highly subsidized education and health, less mining, etc

South Island:
Low flat rate income tax, even lower company tax rate, stripped welfare system, low subsidized education and health systems, increased mining, etc

Both Islands taxes go back to their respective Island. No North Island subsidizing the South Island or vice versa.

What do you thing the North Island and South Island be like after 5 years, 20 years, and 50 years?

Be interested to hear your comments and reasoning.

1:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maori language scholars such as Dr Wharehuia Milroy have spent a fair bit of time over the etymology of "kupapa". The most convincing explanation I've seen is that it derives from "papa" meaning the earth, as in Papatuanuku. Kupapa were therefore originally (ie in pre-European times) those who crouched close to the earth to avoid the blows flung by both sides in the conflict. They were, in short, neutral, non-combatant, innocent bystanders. To redeploy the term in modern times as a synonym for "traitor", "quisling" etc (as a great many Maori currently do), is to over-simplify and quite possibly to misread the historical facts.
And on a related but smaller point, even Te Arawa were not united in support of the Crown during the Land Wars. They were (and are) a confederation of eight tribes, and at least one of those, Ngati Rangiwewehi, was not by any means loyal to the Crown and gave Te Kooti plenty of hospitality and support.

8:33 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks very much for that, anon.

I suppose that even neutrality can have a certain partiality at a time of war: Ngati Whatua, for instance, were neutral during the New Zealand Wars, but I think it could be argued that, simply be refusing to join the struggle against the Crown, they formed an important buffer between Auckland Pakeha and 'rebellious' iwi like Nga Puhi and Waikato, and thereby indirectly aided the Crown's war effort.

8:49 am  
Anonymous middle-aged misanthrope said...

Some information on the hideous robotic fake realist aesthetics of Maoism [for one Richard Taylor]

http://autorovasquez.wordpress.com

9:19 am  
Anonymous Los Meros Meros said...

"We ought to be able to recognise that, like the Cornish and the Sikhs, kupapa Maori had rational reasons for siding with the Crown, and that they do not deserve to be treated with contempt."

And who was arguing otherwise? I mean, no one was saying that were irrational, were they? or is this a case of mistaken false consciousness?


The point is that their rational decision are generally based on a short-term self-interested economic outlook. I mean, are you saying that the Maori cops who sided with the Crown at Bastion Point don't deserve to be treated with contempt?

There's no need to try and defend all who have worked with Pakeha governments at the same time as there is no need to attack all who have worked with the Crown.

it's not that I am "denying the rationality and agency" of maori who work alongside the crown. I'm just calling some of them stupid bastards. But only some. I'm sure not denying them agency by suggesting difference amongst motivations.

Take the Maori Party for example. I think that they've done fairly well in accepting National's outsourcing of the Maori Affairs portfolio. National could have ruled without them, and considering what Gerry Brownlee was like when, under the Don, he took over from Georgina te Heu Heu, I think that Sharples and Turia have played it well. of course, if they'd had the choice of enabling a National or Labour government then it'd be a different story, but they didn't.

I guess you were being ironic when you said the kupapa word should be banned. Because, to paraphrase the old gun control phrase, words don't offend people, people offend people.

10:27 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

I'm not sure where I said the word 'kupapa' should be banned. What I'm arguing is that it is both an historical and a political mistake to conflate, say, Waka Nene with, say, Donna Awatere as a despicable 'kupapa'.

It's an historical mistake because Waka Nene wasn't part of a Maori nation in the way that Donna Awatere is, and didn't have the information and hindsight that were availabe to Awatere. Decrying him for not being a Maori nationalist is a bit like decrying him for not being a Marxist.

And it is a political mistake to call kupapa hapu and iwi 'stupid bastards' for siding with the Crown, because that sort of language alienates present-day members of those groups. It's about as useful as calling all Pakeha 'white mofos'. The Mana Party, and the radical left in general, needs to create a narrative of the past which acknowledges imperialism and colonisation but avoids demonising kupapa and Pakeha. The historical materialist method associated with the Marxist tradition is important precisely because it allows us to talk about the evils of history without claiming that those evils inhere in one or another human group.

10:47 am  
Anonymous El Meros said...

I agree Maps, with most of what you say, and had mis-remembered the calling kupapa a "swear word" instead of "banned". That said, if you want to truly offer another group agency, then you need to offer individuals within those groups (not the hapu or iwi themselves, but individuals) the possibility that they have acted as 'stupid bastards'. If we are talking about agency, then we're talking about individual agency. Or is there some sort of iwi/hapu or group agency you want to identify? I'd be interested to read about agency at that level.

In the same sense, there should be teh ability to denigrate some white colonialists and those who maintain these attitudes as mofos - bringing white into it is needless, though.

11:05 am  
Anonymous Meros said...

but maybe I mis-read what you wrote - does kupapa always refer to a collective? Because the Maori Police in the 1981 Springbok tours and the extension of this to Maori Police Officers at Bastion Point it where I take my departure from your analysis of the kupapa as group.

Ah, but Scott Maps, we don't want the Left talking about the Police now do we?

11:10 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Hi Meros,

I think you're right that we'd be patronising Waka Nene if we didn't accept that he had at least some agency back in the eighteen forties. And certainly it'd be patronising and misleading to suggest that hapu and iwi all thought with some sort of hive-mind, and weren't riven with arguments and factions (it's easy to forget that Ngati Porou only became the quintessential kupapa iwi after a civil war!).

I suppose I'd argue that it's a matter of reconstructing the framework within which somebody like Nene made his choices - of figuring out what sort of hand history dealt him. I don't think it would be fair to suggest that he had the joker of Maori nationalism up his sleeve.

Part of the trouble here is that the left, including the Marxist left, simply hasn't gotten to grips with the dynamics of pre-contact and early nineteenth century Maori societies. Again and again, the left has depicted pre-contact and early post-contact Maoridom as an undifferentiated, unchanging mass, which simply fell victim to European imperialism.

Such a schema simply reproduces the venerable contrast - clearly evident in early Marx texts like the Communist Manifesto - between the 'timeless' non-European world and the dynamo of European capitalism and imperialism.

The notion that class or proto-class contradictions, and therefore all sorts of frictions and fluctuations, existed within pre-contact and early post-contact Maori societies is seldom explored by the left, and therefore phenomena like splits inside iwi over whether or not to side with the Crown are moralised as cases of 'treachery' to a cause which often did not really exist during the period under discussion.

It'd be much more sensible to look at the decision of one or another group to side with the Crown in terms of economics and the self-interest of a class or proto-class group. It's not hard to work out why iwi which lived near the mouths of the Whanganui and Waikato Rivers defied their cousins upstream and backed the Crown: they wanted to keep their trade with the Pakeha going.

In other cases the split inside iwi over whether or not to fight the Crown can perhaps be understood in terms of struggles between traditional chiefs on the one hand, and newer, lower-ranking leaders emboldened by the partial breakdown of traditional society, on the other. The 1865-66 civil war within Ngati Porou, which pitted a minority of converts to the confused proto-nationalism of Te Ua's Pai Marire creed against powerful chiefs who were more hostile to Nga Puhi and Tuhoe and other traditional enemies than towards the Crown, is possibly a case in point.

11:56 am  
Anonymous Pete O'Keefe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:13 pm  
Anonymous John Ansell said...

The problem with New Zealand is it’s full of white cowards who are too frightened of being called names to stand up for the truth.

(And that’s just the ACT Party.)

And the truth (if we are honest enough to admit it) is: for the last quarter-century, our country has been brownwashed by a bunch of scammers (aided and abetted by legions of white ‘useful idiots’) into feeling guilty for the supposed sins of our British great-great-grandparents.

A sober reading of the facts reveals that some of these sins were actual (though far less sinful than the crimes perpetrated by Maori on Maori). Many others were highly exaggerated and delivered with lashings of emotional blackmail, for the purposes of extorting compensation.

But of course we are New Zealanders and we are not allowed to tell our truth (as Alasdair Thompson recently found out to his cost).

We are not allowed to speak out about state suffocation, Maorification, feminazism, National socialism, teacher unionism or any of the other evils that are dragging our country into the third world.

Those who do have the guts to tell the truth are called nasty names like racists in the hope that, like snails, one light contact with politically-correct criticism will be enough to make them shrink back into their shells.

And of course it works a treat.

There are plenty of parties for pessimists, backward-looking Maori and white bedwetters. But there’s only one for optimists, achievement-oriented people and forward-looking Maori.

ACT will not succeed until it champions the latter and tells the dishonest others to go to Hell.

In short, their catchment is men and women who think like men. Not men and women who think like women. ACT is the party of the strong father, not the soft mother.

(By strong father I include strong women like Rand, Richardson and Thatcher, and by soft mother I include weak men like Key.)

I hope you people will think about that.

12:18 pm  
Anonymous Me said...

Can we take it back to this century, please? Not to say the historical analysis aint sweet as plum, just that I'm interested in what situation you might find it legitmate to use the swear word 'kupapa'?

Is it appropriate for the Maori cops on the springbok tour? I guess that, like the Awatere situation, it comes down to an analysis of the individual. But doesn't it always. Surely there could be a more didactic method for establishing when name calling is available.

Her 'My journey' is a pretty interesting read sin embargo .

12:20 pm  
Anonymous M said...

The Don: This is good, but what is best in life?
John Key: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
Don Brash: Wrong! Ansell! What is best in life?
John Ansell: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
The Don: That is good! That is good.

12:28 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Is it actually possible to leave the nineteenth century? Walter Benjamin said that the century was like a dream from which we cannot awake...

I don't think the word 'kupapa' should be used to describe contemporary individuals and groups, just as I don't think that the similarly-abused 'Luddite' should be used in a non-historical way today. Both words belong to a very specific context.

If we need a word for right-wing Maori, how about 'Moritories', which I heard Willie Jackson use on Radio Live about the time the Maori Party went into coalition with National?

12:51 pm  
Anonymous Zeros said...

Moritories it is.

I think that it is possible to leave the 19th century behind. That doesn't mean that certain spectral elements will come forward to great us, to plead with us and to remind us of who we are or might be.

Of course Benjamin couldn't leave it be as he was born in that century. But spectres fade even if we repeat our eras.

1:37 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home