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2017

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2012-07-27

from Anarchy – a novel I can't be bothered finishing


The stage was set for another democracy performance.  This elaborate and expensive play had been performed once every three years in New Zealand for many years.  It was nothing new.  And yet each and every time there was the promise of something new, something special.  The possibility that the act of democracy would elect an individual who would create profound change in our world, in our country.  An individual who would go that extra mile, who would take it further than anyone had taken it before.  Who would align with the values and the needs of the Mainstream Kiwi and our government would explode in bursts of colour and light, symbolic balloons and streamers would erupt from the beehive like a swarm of love and leadership.  But every year the country ended up with a spineless slug, of sufficient matter to fit into any square hole or ergonomic office chair that happened to already be lying around in parliament.  They were the anti-revolutionists.  Heading, with every passing year, as New Zealanders values become broader and more open-minded due to inevitable creep of globalisation and secularism, towards centrism; the entire political spectrum shrinking into a dash and readily becoming a full stop.  A This-Is-What-You-Get end to the wonderful ancient invention known as democracy.  Is the inevitable end to democracy a slow but certain self-consumption?  A swallowing of one's self?

The billboards stood tall and strong like meercats staked to the ground.  At every corner they proudly display the smiling faces of their digestible candidates

I walked down the street and I saw one of those fucking political signs and I said, “Goddamn politicians, make me pay for their propaganda.”  It looked like that thin plasticky shit so I thought I could just yank it off the wood, but it cut my fuckin' hands up and I ended up leaving the stupid thing, completely attached.  And some stupid old lady was staring at me like I was defiling a religious image of Her Majesty Mary of Nazareth or something and I just glared at her like, “what?” and she just kept walking, like pretending she hadn't been giving me the evils and I stared up at that big billboard with that smiling rich prick in the suit and I said, “I'm gonna fuckin' destroy you and your shit-eating grin.”
            When I got home I told my flatmate Albert about it and he said, “So?” and I said, “Doesn't it piss you off?” and he said, “No.  Why should it?”  And I walked away in a huff.  I live with such morons that I just can't stand it.  If they could at least figure out how to do the dishes properly I wouldn't mind, but even that's a big challenge.  Sometimes I have visions of blowing the back of their heads off with a handgun and then I wonder whether I could get away with it, but I never come up with a good enough plan and I always get bored pretty quickly cause I guess if I was going to shoot someone it would be fucking Winston Peters or John Key.  Don Brash saved his own skin getting out of politics fast enough.  But if I saw him on the street he'd get the hiding of his life.
            I called my mum 'cause I wanted to have a proper conversation with someone and she just told me that we have left-wing and we have right-wing and you may agree with one or the other, but we're lucky that they both balance each other out and what we are left with represents all New Zealanders.  I told her what if you think they're all bloodsucking leeches with as much moral power as a store-brand battery and how can you vote for little electronic bunnies that have no personality and no commitment and have to be wound up by months of public funding and she said, “What?”  I decided to get literal and get eloquent and try to speak in my mother's language and so I asked her what she thought of the concept of anarchy.  “It's an absurd idea,” she told me.  “For starters, how does a country run without any organisation or laws?  For second starters, how can anarchy be a concept and how can it be a political system because as soon as it becomes organised it ceases to be anarchy and without any sort of organisation how is it going to overcome the firmly established institution of democracy?”
            “I'm not about to form an anarchist group, Mum.  I'm just exploring possibilities that offer us a little more than democracy has.”
            “It's futile.”
            It's futile.  You just have no imagination.  The times they are a-changin', Mum.  Democracy has left us with nothing but debt and depression.”
            “Oh, what've you been reading, Henry.”
            “Nothing, you know I don't read.  We've just been having classes at uni.  Everyone's anti-democracy at the moment.  You can get 500 bucks if you set up a club and this guy Jonas wants to set up an anarchy club and he said he's aware of the irony, he wants the money and he wants to stir some shit.”
            Language.
            “I'm just saying what he said.”

Jonas got his $500 and the Anarchists Anti-Club was formed.  Surprisingly for Jonas, people actually turned up to the first meeting.  Many were long-haired, scruffy and unshaven.  Wore dark clothes, slumped shoulders.  Others were well-dressed and confident, with a conspiratorial gleam in their eyes.  The first meeting was not very anarchic, which went along with Jonas's sense of irony, as it was largely taken up by the detailed rantings of an old man who claimed to be part of a failed communist party take-over of parliament.  He then moved to a commune on Waiheke Island and was disappointed to find it as pointless and irritating as flatting with way too many people who wouldn't do the dishes or replace the toilet paper.  He was, at 65, ready for some anarchy.  He was studying again because his wife left him.  These three interweaving stories were the feature attraction of Anarchists Anti-Clubs first successful gathering.  On the way out a giggling and apparently stoned individual kicked over some chairs and drew an anarchists “A” on one of the tables with a vivid.  If the details of this event were at all interesting, I would go into them.  Henry attended, curious.  “Organisation is so boring,” he commented to his girlfriend Michelle on the way out.  “I knooow,” she conceded.

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