The end of Christmas

Thankfully Christmas is over for another year. I managed to avoid any feeling of faux goodwill to all men and the decision to avoid gift giving beyond my own children was a move worthy of wise men. Of course I also feel something of a hypocrite even acknowledging Christmas at all. You see, I am not a member of the Christian cult, or any for that matter and I have a healthy scepticism of people who are.

It is my birthday in a couple of days. My son asked what I would like. I have requested a copy of The God Delusion. If he's clever he'll get a copy from the public library, wrap it (optional) and offer to return it for me. I heard the author being interviewd on the radio the other day and thought it was refreshing to hear someone discuss a sensitive topic so forthrightly. How much of political correctness stems from pussyfooting around other people's beliefs. Why? I don't see the point. In my opinion, if you want to hold nutty views of the world, then that is fine by me. Of course it does mean your credibilty will take a well deserved knock, sort of along the lines of the fine old chestnut 'If someone tells you they don't care about money they will probably lie about other things as well.' How can I take you seriously if you hold potty beliefs that simply don't withstand rigorous scrutiny and enjoy the delightfully circular illogic of 'faith' to deflect any form of inquiry or debate. That is that something need not be proved to be acceptable or believed.

I watched the documentary film the Corporation the other day. It trots out people like Naom Chomsky and Naomi Klein to spout polemic rehetoric about 'corporations'. I found it thoroughly entertaining. I like shows where you can get involved - even if it is simply shouting disblief and invective at the screen. I know they can't hear me, but I suspect it would make no difference even if they could. As I said it was interesting and I am steeling myself to watch the seven hours of bonus out-takes from the interviews. Don't ask me why, I guess anyone mad enought to want to create a yurt from piles of Stephen Hawkins books must qualify as odd.

I made the mistake of raising the point about New Zealand's finance minsiter from an earlier entry at the Christmas Day get-together at my mother's house. My sister mistook my disdain for the fact that he has never held a real-world job for some idealogical opposition to his politics. The truth is I prefer a different model to the tyranny of bleeding a popluation to a dessicated husk through taxation at every turn in one form or another, …but let's save that for another day. She asked me why I thought academia wasn't a 'proper' job. Actually I do think it is a proper job, but only when there is an outcome other than a thesis on social and economic history. Reporting on history seems a bit pointless really. The sort of thing you might want to do if you ever wanted to take a job in the swollen beaurocracy, or better still become an unelected member of parliament with the number two job. Just think, if Helen were to choke on a chicken bone while clambouring up Maachu Pichu (or whatever photo opp holiday she is on this year) Cullen would be Prime Minister of New Zealand without winning a single vote. A bit like the Fijian Coup Commodore whose name we have all forgotten already.

In a bid to deal her own coup de grace my sister wondered aloud what contribution the kind of work I do made and whether it was useful work? Well, let me see… the company I started in 1996 employs at least eight people directly and dozens of contractors and suppliers; Idealog magazine employs several people and likewise provides incomes and revenues to contractors and suppliers. I might even go as far as to say its very exisitence raised the consciousness of New Zealand business people (the ones responsible for creating other jobs and wealth for the country and its future). Not to mention the tax revenue they create…

Of course I realise that doing the accounts for a naturopath is important too.

Don't forget to hunt out your copies of the Hawkins brick.

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