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Occupy Wall Street: The power of words

Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.
~ Toni Morrison

Occupy Wall Street is a fast growing movement...

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The Opiate of Hope

I loved the Shawshank Redemption. Its on my list of all-time favourite movies. There is enough inspiration in its themes of redemption, loyalty, and integrity-in-the face-of-corruption, to satisfy a consummate dreamer like myself through numerous sittings...

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Young, damaged gangsters like child soldiers, says MP

Its a bastard when you're trying to write a post on how media re-presentations of black/brown males draw on, circulate and actually create a vital figure in the public imagination - the angry black man...

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The promise of Mana, truth telling, and the struggle of ideas

The most potent weapon of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed
- Steve Biko, Cape Town 1971

Upon reading that veteran activist John Minto has declared his stand for Mana...

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Racism and the media – exploring the said/unsaid

The role of philosophy is not to discover that which is hidden, but to make appear that which we do not perceive because it is so near
- Michel Foucault

Brilliant thinker that Foucault is (and I do particularly like this quote), I think the greatest appeal of these words is that they remind me of the admonishments of our kuia and kaumatua on the marae - it's not what's said you should pay attention to, its what's not said that says the most*. Ironically. Focussing on the hidden, the invisibilised, the unspoken is thus an intense preoccupation for me, and carries over into my wary perusal of the media...

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Incident at Waitangi – on sinking boats…

An old post pulled from my facebook page, that I wrote back in February. It was a letter to the police commissioner, but really - to 'New Zealanders' in general. Tried to get it published in a number of newspapers, but sadly (if unsurprisingly) no takers. I imagine that, similar to LudditeJourno's experience recounted here, the news editors had attitudes akin to this one, from a Dominion Post Editor:

"I’m not terribly interested in the Parihaka festival – unless there is a hard news angle from it i.e. riot/police raids etc."

Replace Parihaka with Waitangi and you get the picture...

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Troubling racism

When racism is the topic at hand, in a public arena anyway, my experience is that people fall into the wallpaper. Or at least respond with a disapproving sniff and stiffened spine. It is a topic that provokes a fair amount of defensiveness and no doubt anxiety, which is a bugger given that what I really want to shift to talking about is, as bell hooks calls it, white supremacist ideology (and patriarchal, and capitalist). Far more useful, and I would say apt - but at this point perhaps a step too far...

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On not-so-flash mob haka… celebration or spectacle?

At the risk of raining on the parade (there's that bearers of discomfort thing again), can't say I'm too inspired by the flash-mob haka that's traveling like lightening around the web. The minute I saw it I knew it was part of the Rugby World Cup buildup, which left me feeling - ambivalent? Māori culture has long been celebrated as 'spectacle' - great when it comes to sporting fracas or official 'lets look multicultural' state events, but disparaged when engaged in as a means of protest...

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Strange Bedfellows: The Māori Party and National

'Tis funny cos I wrote this on 19 November 2008 and then abandoned my blog for a while to try and engage in a thesis (stupid) so it has sat in my drafts for coming up 3 years now. Interesting to read given how things have gone, hence bugger it, I'll publish it anyway, before posting some updated thoughts...

So the National Party and the Māori Party in coalition - who would've thunk? I personally believe the Māori Party are making a massive mistake, and am heartily disappointed...

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Yes I’m a psychologist: and NO I can’t read your mind!

A tip for all singles who are crazy enough to practice in or study under the discipline of psychology - LIE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO!!! Its a total romance killer - and I've come to dread getting to that unavoidable part in a conversation: "so what do you do?". "Working on a PhD, half-time raising teens, and tutoring at the university" is my standard response. "What are you studying?" ... OK wait for it ... "Psychology"! Bang - game over, a look of fear slides fleetingly across their face to be replaced by the polite catch-ya-later smile...

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