the 'macho cultural nationalists' - do you mean Curnow, Glover, Sargeson, Fairburn?
As Belich points out it's hard not to be amused by Fairburn, who used to light the hairs on his chest for the amusement of children, as one of his party tricks.
I've just done a fair bit of research on mid-20th C lit. and one interesting stat (from kai Jensen) is that women far outnumbered men in book writing up to 1920. The nationalists as they're called didn't really get going till mid 30's, so it's hard to know why women suddenly stopped producing so much. The nationalists were more about 'high culture' and nz developing a literary culture of our own that wasn't imitation british. Some included as macho nationalists were closet gays - Brasch, Sargeson, McCormick. Their work reads differently now. Women writers like Mansfield, Jane Mander & Robin Hyde were fed up with the imperialist thinking and lack of opportunity for women. But we've always produced lots of low culture writers - thrillers, romances, westerns. A case of kiwis producing more than our fair share compared to other countries, as we seem to do.
As a single mother for ten years, I'd like to comment.
I rarely took my children (now teenagers) to GPs after the age of five, unless they were very sick. Why? If they'd broken an arm, had any kind of injury i was given "the evils" - they ASSUME becoz you are a single mother that you abuse your children. Asking nosy questions is not new at all. It is frightening.
Although my sons' father chooses to ignore them (& note, he was accused by another son from previous marriage of abuse), that is construed as "my fault" - my younger son is mildly autistic, (withdrawn, antisocial, anti-school, depressive). I have asked for help for years - been all the way to Minister of health, Minister of Education, been to Mental Health & Special Ed. They all say there is nothing wrong with him & even if there was, it would be my fault (as I am single parent, likely abuser, made it too hard for poor daddy....whatever).
And guess what? Daddy is a high school teacher.
Some SPs quit having boyfriends because they all think solo mums are free bed & breakfast joints and we should be "grateful" they want to be in our lives. So, if you care about yr kids, you stay single and lonely.
The DPB no longer covers anything more than absolute basics. You cannot live on it alone.
There has actually been research that shows if single parents are supported by their families/friends/communities their children often show BETTER outcomes than trad. nuclear families. Everybody's too busy judging & condemning to help, though.
Abused babies are missing one vital thing - their parent(s) are not bonded to them. If you are strongly bonded to your children you protect them at all costs. You invest time and love in them.
The abusers have great big holes inside them where they themselves have never been filled to the brim with love. They can't share, they are possessive & territorial, they are terminally self-oriented. NZ men do not want to face up to this.
I wanted to use the word "Ariel" as a trademark for a possible creative business idea, to identify anything I made and sold. Alas, Disney has done just what RB has described and their appplication to use that name/word covers absolutely everything including art. I don't even know where "Ariel" fits into their oeuvre?? I can't recall a character of that name, as far as I recall Ariel was the Greek messenger of the Gods. Surely Disney can't own a Greek legend??
And of course you realise that the Labour Government , on it's way to 'One benefit for all', now considers parents on the DPB to be unemployed? And subject to all the same work tests becoz there is no excuse to stay home with the kids now there is so much "free" daycare?? And there is no larger remuneration given to mothers or fathers in recognition of their parental role than the pittance given to the usual unemployed?
In a country rife with reported abuse and family meltdown into something far more feral, the most vulnerable children are having their ties to the most important person in their life (their source of security, stability & love) weakened. And the purpose of this is?? To get all those lazy mums out to work? To get their kids safely into the arms of daycare workers where they can be 'monitored' by these ad hoc secret police ? Every mother on the DPB knows that when she takes her child to the Emergency Department, that child will be thoroughly checked over for signs of abuse and if her children play up at school, that will also be blamed on 'home'. Good single parents do their work in a climate of fear. This has gone on for 15-20 years at least.
The funny thing is, this climate of mistrust, blame and witch-hunting has done nothing to stem the tide of abused and murdered children. All children need to be loved by someone who spends lots of time with them and is deeply involved in their lives. Dumping on single parents is NOT the way to happy, healthy childhoods which in turn generate happy, healthy adulthoods.
I wish Someone would get a grip in this country.
As all the above posts show, "the unemployed" are a hugely various bunch of people and there is no "catch all" scheme to address all situations. I agree with RB about the old Taskforce Green schemes and indeed, i recall in the late 80s an innovative PEP scheme in Hawkes Bay that taught log-building skills, flax weaving & kiln-fired brick making at what was to become the Otatara Arts Centre on the hill behind EIT, in the 90s. A number of those taught on those schemes went on to work in the building industry, became art students & later artists in their own right. Otatara got a log house for use with visiting Artist-in -residence schemes at the polytech, a huge area was paved with handmade bricks, and an artists' colony was born - one much loved and used by contempoarary maori artists under the auspices of Paratene Matchitt & Jacob Scott.
We need to think of our people as long term investments and aren't they the best kind?
Oh my, the Aussies have got the pip (again)....never mind, they'll be claiming it as theirs shortly, seeings the Wolfman actor is one of their own. Wasn't he once a Blue Heeler??
Being a technophobe, I don't record telly programmes, so I have to do a speedy, ticket-inducing trip home on a Tuesday night from night-class, to catch the last half of OF. It's years since I was that keen to see anything on the box! It outclasses that nauseous, pretentious load of tripe, Insiders Guide to Terminal Boredom which got the TV award. It ain't perfect but it is authentic and has a gloriously "up yours" vivacious-ness that is sooo refreshing....
*sigh* isn't a great leader someone who the rest of us believes in? Even when things are done or said that we aren't that happy with?
The leader who is always right, who never apologises or admits a frailty, a mistake or a change of heart is simply a powerful bully. Someone who must win the point in spite of any good sense shown by their "adversary".
Why is a person who operates by instinctively negotiating the power game necessarily an empty vessel, available to be used by others? A creative person is not one who sticks to their knitting - they are open to it all. Their power lies in their ability to absorb, discriminate and simmer a whole lotta stuff before they throw the best bits together in new forms. And it usually takes a few tweaks after that to get it just right.
I found it sad to read that Phd students and other researchers have to be reassured that it's ok to have new ideas. Supposedly, in this new age, fresh ideas and creative solutions are what will give us the competitive edge we so desperately need.
I, too, am a child of the 60s, raised in a state house by a single mother.... and it is quite a different experience from state house/single parent in this millenium. As others have pointed out, you must have resources to enable opportunities and these days single parents have become the dumping ground for all social evils,
whilst they are are given the barest resources to make decent lives for their families. It was nice to hear Key acknowledge his background, and say that civilised society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members, but i fear it was a populist ploy.
Just like the uninformed rant about the Clark sisterhood being anti-male - I can't think of one thing that the sisterhood have said or done to specifically make life better for the peasant women and children in NZ. WFF was catch-up for all the equity we lost in the 90s and functioned as cynical vote-catching. They have been so careful to be populist that they let the peasants sink. Does no-one acknowledge that raising children successfully IS a job? That it is social investment of the most crucial kind?
Integrity is not a cloak you don for special occasions to impress people.
Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah for me too...followed by the Chilli's version of Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground...