Monday, 30 July 2007

Denis O'Reilly Blog #17: Looking through a kaleidescope

Angela Davis, 1974
“It must be a beautiful feeling to fly halfway around the world, touch down in a seemingly contented society, and discover a body of people who have been enacting your disobedient thinking for over 30 years.”

Blog #17 of Denis O’Reilly’s series Nga Kupu Aroha, from the flipside of the edge; “Looking through a kaleidoscope” (4,750 words):
  • The meaning of Maori tangi; tangi for Mick the Aussie biker in Wellington, and Rangi Tareha at Waiohiki Marae after a 500-strong funeral in Redfern Sydney; the Hamuera Morehu Silver Band
  • Arthur Young’s The Reflexive Universe and his explanation of the seven stages of evolution (Theory of Process)
  • Edge-dwelling and the brink of disobedience
  • The visit by Angela Davis (“the candle of social resistance”) to New Zealand with a radical agenda: the process of decarceration and introduction of restorative justice; her influence on the Polynesian Panthers in Auckland, capital of Nesia
  • Definitions of “organised crime” in New Zealand; distinctions between venial and mortal sin; discontinuity of the 1980s economic reforms resulting in a 3:1 Maori/Pakeha unemployment rate; moral panic and the perspicaciousness of policy makers in regard to the criminal justice system
  • “Can we reverse the trend and steer those people who are caught up in crime back to legitimate pursuits?”
  • Time magazine’s cover story “New Zealand: A Culture of Violence” and Zeppelins sighted in Southland
  • A good reason to get upset – the grand denial of potential; imprisonment becoming the standard expectation of our underclass, our lumpenproletariat, our nga mokai; Law & Order Select Committee submissions by Principal Youth Judge Andrew Beecroft and Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro
  • “Could we agree on having a decarcerated nation within which the indigenous people are proportionally the least imprisoned population segment?’; tut-tutting at Australia
  • “Police dragnets can criminalize whole communities and land large numbers of non-violent children in jail and don’t reduce gang involvement or gang violence…Once jailed these children will inevitably become hardened criminals and spend the rest of their lives in and out of prison…The emphasis needs to be on changing children’s behavior by getting them involved in community and school-based programs that essentially keep them out of gangs.” New York Times, 19 July 2007, “The Wrong Approach to Gangs”
  • Celebration of life for daughter Kaylene; prayerful and profound intervention of a tohunga; respect and admiration for an ICU doc
  • Maatariki – planted shallots, garlic, onions and chives and now time to dig in mustard so it can enrich the soil for Maori spuds: Tuteakuri, Moemoe and Perepuru
  • A week ahead of politics and difficult engagements dissuading people from one path and persuading them to take another.

Posted. Raumati South

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