Dumbed down NZ

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Mon, 2012-07-30 12:48
Kangoo Children's book
NZ children's book.JPG
True dat!

I saw this children's book today in the UK.

As you can see "proudly made in NZ".

Oh, the inhumanity of it.

How does English like this get past the editor's pen?

They're children for fuck's sake!

( categories: )

OK, all is forgiven...

Marcus's picture

...if you anger the animal rights lobby then you must be doing something right!

Kiwis divided by school children playing dress-up with dead possums

"Some schools bake cakes to raise money. Others hold jumble sales. The Uruti School in New Zealand's North Island staged a best-dressed dead possum competition, encouraging pupils to deck out the furry corpses in costumes such as wedding dresses and bikinis.

Animal welfare groups were horrified, but the school principal, Pauline Sutton, brushed off the criticism. "There was an amazing crowd and it was lots of fun," she told the Taranaki Daily News...

For the school competition, one skinned possum was dressed as a boxer, while others were fitted out in baby clothes. The dead creatures were then arranged in amusing poses: riding a tricycle, painting at an easel, relaxing on a mini-beach towel. Ms Sutton wondered what all the fuss was about. After all, she pointed out, "animals aren't the only species who are dressed up after they die. We do it to humans too."

But the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals condemned the event as tasteless and unacceptable. "Animals deserve respect, whether they're wild, domestic or pets," said a spokeswoman, Jackie Poles-Smith. "We encourage empathy [for] all animals, even when they're dead, and it's a shame that a school is encouraging its children to do this."

Is this serious?

Marcus's picture

Or is this not dumbed down NZ? Maybe they'll get an eggs-box too?

Marmite reward for New Zealand's Olympic medallists

"New Zealand competitors who win medals at the London Olympics have been offered an unusual reward - food parcels containing jars of Marmite.

The spread has been in short supply since March, after the manufacturer was forced to close its only factory because of earthquake damage.

The shortage of Marmite has been dubbed "Marmageddon" by the media.

Members of the eventing team, who won the country's first medal, were the first to collect their Marmite.

The manufacturer, Sanitarium, says production of the spread will not resume until later this year. The product is a variation of the yeast spread widely available in the UK.

Since the shortage began, New Zealand media has been filled with stories of newly discovered Marmite stashes in corners of supermarket storerooms.

There has also, apparently, been a roaring trade on auction websites.

Rather than selling its remaining supplies, executives at the Pak'nSave supermarket chain decided to give their stash to customers they felt were deserving of a treat...

The eventing team, who won a bronze medal on Tuesday, went to Kiwi House the following day to pick up their jars of Marmite.

The spread was first brought to New Zealand in the early 1900s, but the country later came up with its own recipe."


Damien Grant's picture



Richard Goode's picture

I like the idea of libertarian ideals confined in a constitution.

Oxymoron? I think you mean 'enshrined', not 'confined'. Evil


Damien Grant's picture

yes, this is a good question, despite your being a little flippant. If there were two people in a society and I happened to be a God viewing this from Mt. Olympus:

One of those two people was a child who was unable to fend for himself and the other was and adult who could but took the view that he did not wish to aid the child, I, as God, would intervene and take the goods from the adult and apply it to the child, even better I would say to the adult, every resource you earn for yourself, you must give x percent to the child, giving the adult an incentive to fend for himself and the child, creating a self-sustaining model allowing me to chase Aphrodite and visit my mate Bacchus.

Once the child was able to fend for himself I’d rescind the edict, but that is, at the extreme fictional world how I would react, and it assumes that I cannot intervene on the child’s behalf.

This is not the world we live in and no justification to the social welfare state but it does add shades of grey to the black and white.


Damien Grant's picture

I agree, totally, and I know I am not doing enough and I reserve my doubts and treasonous thoughts to this forum!

I'd like to see a collapse and rebuilt but such collapses tend to be followed by ever more aggressive states and not by its withering.


Damien Grant's picture

good point about the state never succeeding!

My worry is that there is a natural tendency in humans to organize themselves in a hierarchy and its logical extension is a state.

This feels natural to many people, including me, so we accept it, there is a legitimacy to it, but in the event that the state is weak, rival centers for power will emerge.

A state reliant on voluntary contributions may fail to match the resources of even the Destiny Church that taxes its members ten percent, to say nothing of the power of organized crime and the like.

It is my belief that a state based on voluntary taxation would be overthrown or marginalized by rival centers for power, the narco states are a case in point (replace drugs with a protection market).

That is why I am not, in this forum, a libertarian, although I tell other people I am because the subtly of the distinction is too complex to be bothered with and people like labels.

This, however, creates real issues for my fevered brain, because I also worry that by allowing the state even the tiniest ability to raise taxes leads inevitability to a social welfare state we have today.

This is why I do not have the answer, which is not to say I am not a dilettante, but I have given the issue some thought.

Good question Reed

gregster's picture

Whether you intended it. Socialism always fails. It must always run out of other people's money. (Thatcher, not me)


reed's picture

What's wrong with socialism?
Why don't you support or advocate theft to save poor children from poverty?


gregster's picture

they are not thinking long term, and the benefits of capitalism are poorly marketed.

Damien ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The difficulty of getting from here to there is no excuse to make no attempt at it. No one to my knowledge is advocating the overnight abolition of compulsory taxation or the other props of the collectivist state. Everyone to my knowledge understands the need for Gramsci-in-reverse, a long march through the culture. But this could be trumped if, as I predict, Western Civilisation is destroyed precisely because of the preponderance of morons it has nurtured. Amidst the rubble, all would be up for grabs. No reason that Constitution couldn't be brought into immediate effect, if enough survivors were clued up.

but Greg

Damien Grant's picture

those who vote for socialism have a rational self-interested reason for doing so.

They prefer a system where wealth is transferred from the productive to themselves, this is not a matter of reasoned debate, I think we assume that those voting for socialism are misguided.

I think they understand perfectly what they are doing.


gregster's picture

a lack of taxation will cause the state to fail

When has the state ever succeeded?

You've helped identify previously that if the state thieves less, it can do less.

A virtuous circle.

because LP

Damien Grant's picture

1) I do not agree with all of it, a criticial part of it.

As I have debated with Master Hubbard, I fear that a lack of taxation will cause the state to fail. I understand that you will disagree with me here but it is my belief and it is as ingrained as the belief in goblins held by others and because that is how I see the world I worry.

2) Even if I did agree with all of it, I cannot see how we get from here to there? Reason alone will fail because too many people see the introduction of such a regime to be an anathema to their self-interests. Parasites do not wish to live without their hosts.

Ashley has a right to be pleased with himself. I told him so at the time, he is a good man.


gregster's picture

Capitalism needs better promotion.

It beggars belief how obvious this is.

Giving women the vote...

Marcus's picture

...I believe was not a hard won ideological battle, but some political horse trading.

Didn't the PM who got it through say that it was never really his intention to give women the vote?

A historical error, wasn't it?

Then ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... don't say you don't know what the antidote is.

Did you read it?

Of what significance is it that Ashley was pleased with himself? Why shouldn't he have been?

All of us took the trouble over an extended period to think this thing through and thrash it out. Dilettantes say they don't know the answer when they make no effort.

i am attracted

Damien Grant's picture

I like the idea of libertarian ideals confined in a constitution.

The concept of a constitution is already there, it just needs to be expanded and adapted.

I love this bit:

Section 9 - Local Government

9(1) There shall be no local government.


Damien Grant's picture

I do recall seeing that before,

Young Mr Chan sent it to me, very pleased with himself at the time as I recall.

Antidote to mobocracy

Lindsay Perigo's picture


Damien Grant's picture

I do not know we can blame MMP, Gramsci maybe.

no one voted for Roger Douglas, they voted for the funny short fat guy as opposed to the nasty short fat guy and got their world ripped apart by frustrated Treasury Phds who had been waiting for a decade to let rip.

I used to like democracy because it imposed limits on the power of the state but now I worry that it legitimists the tyranny of the majority yet I have no idea about what to replace it with.

MMP plus Gramsci

Lindsay Perigo's picture

MMP plus Gramsci. What greater disaster could there be? Dregs rule.

Could it be

gregster's picture

How did we go from the liberal darling of the first world to a declining nanny state backwater

Mixed member proportional representation Damien? As if the prior version of democracy wasn't bad enough.


Damien Grant's picture

We gave women the vote, (I know LP thinks this was a mistake but it was still bold), we split the Reserve Bank from state control, lead the world with Roger Douglas!

WTF went wrong?

How did we go from the liberal darling of the first world to a declining nanny state backwater?

I remember, many years ago, I was listening to the current speaker at some boozy wank fest, (at a time when Jim Bolger was fronting the administration for Bill Birch’s government) and the topic turned to schools and the statement was “well, combine bulk funding with the Employment Contracts Act and you get the idea.”

The business audience giggled to themselves but there was no doubt the future speaker was serious, that was what they were thinking.

Now, we may get a few charter schools. Hooray. We have gone backwards.

gregster took it..

gregster's picture

as an unjustified example to be headed "Dumbed down NZ." This enterprise looks commendable despite minor errors which would be undetectable to its target market, and is open to improvement in new versions. She may have moved on to brighter things.

The point being - the "dumbed down" is not restricted to NZ. Mind out, that UK version looks contagious. Eye

I spotted a children's book...

Marcus's picture

...by Margaret Mahy yesterday too. It was published in 2005.

Perfectly good.

She's dead and buried now and you're celebrating the next generation.

Looks like I hit a raw nerve...

Marcus's picture

...I was talking about the editor and standards of English. However gregster took it as an attack on NZ business and culture.

That's very telling and makes the problem worse than I thought.

Trigger happy

gregster's picture

I know where you’re coming from Marcus. Your symptoms are of inverted cultural cringe. This can lead to irrational confusion of entrepreneurs with killers of good English. Let me explain.

Thankfully I only saw stills from the London O’Limpdics opening ceremony. I saw the smokestacks and was impressed.

[I immediately thought of industrialised Britain, and its universal raising of living standards. [Gap between rich and poor? How about the fact that the poor far outlive Kings of old. And if life is the standard..]]

Then I saw the hospital beds, and the nurses and NHS stuff and glimpsed the average Brit’s soul and there was little or nothing there. Britain, once a world leader, now a nation of infants? Get sickie kiddie – go to hoppital, yippee. Did each at the opening get a little cotton creature too to take home and give the kids the warm fuzzy-wuzzies? Oh, the humanity of it?

Your embarrassment with your adopted country is entirely understandable and is manifesting itself. Please take this as an empathetic advisory.

Thank you for bringing to light the entrepreneurial kiwi creation Kangoo Books. The author of your example is Shona Grundy, a name that could raise a smile. Shona impressed in two minutes I allotted to looking over the first few Google search results. And she’s moved on to CEO with Trigger Happy. “Established in December 2010, Trigger Happy develops cutting edge software for content creators on mobile tablets. Essentially born from a merger of executives from two well established Auckland digital content creation companies: Kangoo Animation (known most famously for “The Gingerbread Haka”) and Massive Software”

Great stuff. I congratulate any and all successes she may have. Oh, so there may be a few slips in her Queen's English, but so too have there been almighty slips in the Queen's country.

The books are aimed at dumb foreigners. They could be purposely dumbed down.

Btw, you’re in illustrious company. Your symptoms remind me of the current controversy in the US of the Obama administration attacking the Toy Of The Year manufacturer “BuckyBalls.” Obama’s henchmen at the Consumer Product Safety Commission are saying BuckyBalls should be put out of business. After more than half a billion products sold. Punish the successful for success – the recipe for mediocrity.

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