New Bourgeoizealand (lucky)

from The Light You Throw by Lake South

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about

Extract from New Bourgeoizealand
By Richard Meros

“Written thanks to the Horoeka Grant which Eleanor Catton/Steve Toussaint gave out to a bunch of people to read books for a month.”

“The right hides their distrust and disinterest in their fellow man with an allegiance to a language of ambition. But the ambition of the right, as uplifting as it might seem, is always of a future that never comes. I call this the spirit of New Bourgeoizealand because of the petty attachment to status and wealth, and a mean rejection of any potential for a collective good.

While faith in a better future may be psychologically necessary for all humans, the version of this perpetuated in New Bourgeoizealand does more harm than good – think of the quip by Steinbeck that, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” The faith in the future is a far distant thing that will never be realised, while the doubt in society is always present and disarming of even the most basic acceptance of abundance.

To allow the critique of the current lack of housing and jobs in New Zealand, those on the left need an understanding of how things could be better. This understanding might manifest itself in terms of a utopian project – full employment, house ownership for all – but to get to that point the contemporary left needs to realise that despite the political and economic lack that they experience and witness every day, the country – indeed the earth – is a land of plenty, is abundant and blooming. Though there’s no need to reach the jagged peak of optimism in a Hosking rant, the left needs to remember the awe, the sublime, and the sheer magnitude of possibilities for living.

The aim then, is for those of us in the paper cut factories – we who seek to end the right through a thousand cuts – to see that while the emphasis on lack is a tactical necessity, strategically we must refresh ourselves by seeing the world as a place of abundance and potentials. If this sounds theological – think of the Christian concept of ‘abundant life’; think of pre-Christian harvest festivals – that is because it is: it’s a top down world-view, it’s an ontology verging on metaphysics.

There is not enough, there is not enough, there is not enough. These words – utterances and incantations – hint at a universe that will definitely implode due to the cumulative undermining of all that is good. But most of us will wake up tomorrow, we’ll squint at the sun, we’ll be pushed along by the wind, we’ll grow our gardens and we’ll hopefully admit, through our craggy exteriors that new things grow and there is a tomorrow that might be better than today."

lyrics

With the birds and the beach and the lake and the river
You call and I come hither
When it’s day off and sun shine and everyone’s kind and time is slow and you know it in your heart you can feel it there is goodness in this life
Goodness in this life!

We know how lucky we are
We learn it by heart

With the hills and the trees and the light and the weather
We go bright cos brilliant is better
When it’s party up the road and all your friends go, there’s a realness in the room it is true you can feel it there is goodness in this life
Goodness in this life!

We know how lucky we are
We learn it by heart
I think we’re falling apart
We were doomed from the start

Behold the beauty
Every tomorrow
Has a tomorrow

Vastness of sunlight
New things grow
Wander and follow

credits

from The Light You Throw, track released August 10, 2021

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