New Zealand is Corrupt as Shit

If a politician is bribed, but the people are too stupid to realise that a bribe has been made, is it really bribery?

In the midst of the worst homelessness and mental health crises this country has ever known, the Labour-NZ First coalition Government has decided to double the refugee quota, placing incredible strain on already thinly-stretched resources. On the face of it, this seems insane, but there’s a very precise method to this madness. This article explains the truth.

The truth, in short, is that New Zealand is corrupt as shit.

You don’t know it’s corrupt as shit, because they don’t admit that on the television news, and anything not stated as fact on the television news is not considered a fact here. As a consequence, New Zealand does well on measures of perceived corruption. There are two significant effects of this: New Zealanders seldom try to bribe officials, and New Zealanders are almost completely unaware of blatant cases of actual corruption.

We are so naive that the ruling class can pull off ham-fisted scams that 99% of the world would immediately recognise as crooked, and Kiwis will believe them without question.

The MethCon meth house scam, for example, even had ‘Con’ in the name and Kiwis still fell for it. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of chemistry knows that it’s impossible for a house to become contaminated to the point of being unsafe to live in merely from people smoking methamphetamine inside. Nevertheless, a hysteria was created in the media that led to people stampeding to test their houses for methamphetamine contamination.

There was huge money to be made through the meth testing business. Gullible landlords were suckered into paying thousands to cowboy chemists who were purportedly checking to see if their house was fit for human habitation. Equally gullible journalists were induced into stoking the fires of the meth house hysteria, and they did so with glee, encouraged by bribes from the meth conners.

The granting of consents to foreign companies to export bottled water is another such scam. The only real explanation for the granting of these valuable water consents to foreign companies is backhanders to Council officials, but most Kiwis do not perceive anything untoward.

None of this is to even mention the numerous immigration scams, or foreign land sale scams, or the total bullshit story that is cannabis prohibition.

Regarding the illegal foreign land sales, the Radio NZ article states “Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage could not answer many of RNZ’s questions, referring back to Land Information, who subsequently refused an interview.” Every other people in the world, apart from the sheep-like Kiwis, would recognise this as a blatant case of corruption. Obviously someone is getting personal benefit out of selling off New Zealand here.

The increase in the refugee quota, then, can be explained as simply another example of this widespread theme of public officials deriving personal benefit out of making decisions that harm the country as a whole. It’s simple corruption at work.

Jacinda Ardern knows that if she sells New Zealand out to globalist Marxist interests, in particular the United Nations, she will be amply rewarded by the UN after her tenure as New Zealand Prime Minister. If she opens the door to the Third World now while she’s in charge here, she will be at the front of the queue to receive UN patronage in her later career. This is the context in which the raising of the refugee quota has to be viewed.

From Ardern’s perspective, it’s not important that increasing the refugee quota will lead to more homelessness among Kiwis and worse mental health outcomes for them. The important thing is to earn brownie points with the globalists, so that the rewards can be reaped post-office. This is very similar to how Helen Clark focused on homosexual law reform, which was then fashionable among the global left, when the nation was demanding cannabis law reform.

We Kiwis have to accept the truth: our country is corrupt as shit, and our leaders do not represent us. Our leadership class are more like a herd of pigs with their snouts in the trough of our common wealth.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Case For Cannabis Law Reform

The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, edited by Vince McLeod, is a book containing all the arguments for cannabis law reform, referenced with recent data. It is due for release in the Summer of 2018/19.

The Arguments For Cannabis Law Reform:

1. Prohibition Doesn’t Work
2. The Market Needs to be Regulated
3. Freedom
4. God Put Cannabis Here
5. Cannabis is a Religious And Spiritual Sacrament
6. Cannabis is an Established Crop
7. Effectiveness of the Police
8. Effectiveness of the Prisons
9. Prohibition Harms Respect for the Law and for the Police
10. The Punishment Does Not Fit the Crime
11. The Effect of Criminal Records is Disproportionate
12. Cannabis Is An Alternative to Booze
13. Other Acceptable Drugs Are More Harmful Than Cannabis
14. An Ethnic Rights Perspective
15. Cannabis Suits Some People Better Than Alcohol Does
16. Cannabis Prohibition Harms the Youth
17. An Elderly Perspective
18. The Economic Future Will Be Based on Innovation and Creativity
19. Prohibition Funds the Gangs
20. Prohibition Creates Drug Cartels
21. Cannabis Prohibition Allows Terrorists to Fund Themselves
22. Cannabis is a Medicine
23. Cannabis is a Tool For Personal Growth
24. Quality Control
25. Prohibition is a Waste of Money
26. The Effect on Social Cohesion
27. Governments Shouldn’t Conduct A War on Drugs Against Their Own People
28. Prohibition Corrupts the Youth
29. Prohibition Destroys Families
30. Cannabis is not a Gateway Drug
31. People Would Not Use More Cannabis if it Was Legal
32. Young People Would Not Have Easier Access to Cannabis if it Was Legal
33. Prohibition Keeps the Cannabis Price High, Incentivising it
34. Cannabis Law Reform Would Not Invite Foreign Gangs Into the Country
35. Cannabis Taxation Would Not Create a Black Market For Cannabis
36. Cannabis is Not Harmful
37. It Doesn’t Matter That People With Substance Abuse Disorders Use Cannabis
38. Cannabis Does Not Make People Paranoid
39. Cannabis is Not Addictive
40. It Doesn’t Matter that Cannabis is Sometimes Cut With Other Drugs
41. Cannabis Does Not Cause Schizphrenia
42. Prohibition is Not The Right Message to Send to the Youth
43. Cannabis Doesn’t Make People Impotent
44. Cannabis Does Not Cause Amotivational Syndrome
45. Cannabis Does Not Lead to Crime
46. Cannabis is Not Much Stronger Than it Used to Be
47. It Doesn’t Matter That People Have to Pay For Cannabis Users’ Healthcare
48. Cannabis Prohibition Does Not Serve the Good of Society
49. The Majority Now Wants Cannabis Law Reform
50. It Doesn’t Matter That You Know One Person Who Smoked Weed and Went Crazy
51. The Situation is Not Currently Fine
52. The Criminal Justice System is Not A Path to Treatment
53. Cannabis Law Reform Will Not Increase Drugged Driving Deaths
54. Cannabis Law Reform Will Not Mean People Coming to Work Stoned
55. Drugs Are Not Categorically Bad
56. Prohibition is Not “Better on Balance”
57. There is No Moral Argument Against Cannabis
58. Cannabis is An Exit Drug

The West is Undergoing A Cultural Revolution

The goal of destroying a population’s links with their past is – as it was in Maoist China – to make them more amenable to the imposition of a new ideology

The stated goal of the Chinese Cultural Revolution was to purge all trace of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, clearing the slate for the imposition of Maoism. This was soon regarded as a catastrophic mistake, for predictable reasons. This essay argues that the West is, right now, undergoing a similar cultural revolution.

The Communists of the West have now completed their Long March through the institutions. Their control of the education system is now so total that Western schools could hardly be more effective brainwashing institutions if they had been designed with that objective in mind. The social pressure to conform to a politically correct worldview is so great that the vast majority succumb, simply becoming repeaters of indoctrination.

These repeaters go on to repeat the politically correct worldview they are programmed with, and they do this with all the fervour of a person raised in a fundamentalist religion. And so, it is now assumed that, in every conflict, the side with the least amount of power is automatically the morally correct side, which is Marxist morality in a nutshell.

This moral value has now driven out most of the others. It is now widely believed that it’s immoral to have a decent life, and that the more decrepit one is the more moral one must be. All winners are now losers, and vice-versa. The Western Cultural Revolution is under way.

Our ancestors, who built this decent life for us to enjoy, are no longer to be seen as heroes who crossed mighty oceans to carve nations out of forests and mountains with sweat and toil. No longer are they to be venerated for passing down a niche for us to survive in. Instead they are to be despised for the damage they did to those forests and mountains, and to the primitives that may have lived there before them.

We are destroying all of our contacts with the old, and signs of this painfully fashionable iconoclasm can be seen everywhere.

In the New World, it’s evident from the tearing down of statues and the reinterpretation of history to cast white settlers and pioneers as oppressors and other ethnicities as victims. The noble savage mythology has seen a resurgence; it has become politically incorrect to point out the horrific rates of homicide and easily preventable deaths in native societies before European contact. The tribal warfare and mass slaughters that occurred before the land was pacified by Europeans are taboo to mention.

In Europe, it’s evident from the shattering of national identities that has transpired in the wake of mass Muslim and African immigration. Propaganda inviting Germans to consider ethnic non-Germans to be “typisch Deutsch” has the effect of shattering the bonds that Germans have with their ethnic ancestors, who have of course been German for thousands of years.

The purpose of this Western Cultural Revolution is the same as it was in China: before Communism can be imposed on a population, all of their traditions must be destroyed, so that they have no solid ground from which to resist. Totalitarianism is total. The citizens must learn nothing from their parents or grandparents – all knowledge, all wisdom comes from the State and only from the State.

Part of this cultural revolution is the rejection of historical narratives that were inherited from the elders. For instance, the narrative that European people and Maoris co-operated for centuries to collectively raising these islands from the Neolithic Age to the highest standard of living in the world, is gone. It has been replaced by a narrative of exploitation and grievance, revenge and resentment.

This new narrative is intended to drive a wedge between white people and Maoris, disorientating, weakening and confusing them both – and making them both optimally conducive to instruction from authorities such as Government and corporate media (who are now working hand in glove to milk the cattle class of everything). Destroying the people’s historical narrative of what it means to belong to their nation makes those people more malleable.

This Cultural Revolution is also Communism – not on the scale of China, but on the scale of the West. The traditional narratives of all Western nations are to be destroyed so that the populations will be maximally amenable to the mass immigration that the corporate class demands for the sake of pushing down wages. As this newspaper has investigated elsewhere, it’s already impossible for the majority of young people to ever own a house on the wages that are being paid nowadays. But the corporate class will go further.

As ecological pressures lead to a shrinking economic pie, the ruling classes of the West need to find some way to convince the masses to accept a lower standard of living, and ideally without having to accept a lower standard of living themselves. They will do this by way of imposing a new ideology on us – likely some kind of globalist envirototalitarianism. To make us accepting of this new doctrine, they will destroy all contact we had with our national past and with our ancestors.

This is the Western Cultural Revolution, and it will be no less destructive and ruthless than the Chinese one.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Maori Speakers

With the uptick in interest in Maori language recently, there has also been an interest in understanding who speaks the language. A large correlation matrix based on electoral and Census data can tell us a great deal. In this article, Dan McGlashan (author of Understanding New Zealand) tells the statistical story of Maori speakers.

There are two different ways of telling the story of the Maori-speaking demographic. The first is by comparing them to the population as a whole, and the second is to compare to them to the general Maori demographic. This article will do both because it is worthwhile to look at the two separately.

The correlation between being a Maori speaker and being a Maori is 0.99. Essentially this means that virtually everyone who speaks Maori in New Zealand is ethnically Maori. It also means that all of the correlations with being a Maori speaker will be close to the respective correlations with being a Maori, so that any differences between the two groups will be subtle ones (but hopefully instructive).

Curiously, the correlation between median personal income and being Maori (-0.48) was exactly the same as the one between median personal income and speaking Maori, but if we go down a level we can see a wider pattern in this data. For the most part, the voting patterns of Maori speakers mirrored that of Maoris, but there are patterns in the differences.

The average Maori speaker is slightly less likely than the average Maori to have voted Labour in 2017 (0.56 to 0.58). This is a small difference and it remains a fact that the average Maori speaker is strongly inclined to vote for the Labour Party. This is mirrored for National: the average Maori speaker is slightly more likely than the average Maori to have voted National in 2017 (-0.72 to -0.74).

The average Maori speaker was also slightly more likely to vote Green than the average Maori. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and being a Maori speaker was -0.12, compared to -0.14 for the correlation between voting Green in 2017 and being Maori.

But if being a Maori speaker made one slightly more inclined to vote for the Greens, it made one slightly less likely to vote for New Zealand First. The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being a Maori speaker was 0.35, compared to 0.38 for being Maori.

Because the Greens and National are the parties that tend to attract the most well-educated people, we can guess from this that the average Maori speaker is slightly better educated than the average Maori. Indeed, this proves to be the case.

The correlation between being a Maori speaker and having a university degree was -0.42 for all of Bachelor’s, Honours and Master’s degrees and -0.38 for a doctorate, whereas the correlation between being Maori and having a university degree was -0.45 for both Bachelor’s and a Master’s degrees, -0.46 for an Honours degree and -0.41 for a doctorate.

This tells us that the average Maori speaker is slightly better educated than the average Maori, despite being more poorly educated than the New Zealand average.

The correlations with age brackets tell us that the average Maori speaker is a bit older than the average Maori. The correlation between being in the 0-4 age bracket and being Maori was 0.82, whereas the correlation between being in that bracket and being a Maori speaker was 0.78. Conversely, the correlation between being in the 65+ age bracket and being Maori was -0.48, compared to a correlation of -0.47 between being aged 65+ and being a Maori speaker.

The correlations with the various industry types tells us in which industries we are more likely to find Maoris who speak Maori.

The correlation between working in the education and training industry and being Maori was 0.43, but the correlation between working in that industry and being a Maori speaker was 0.48. This tells us that a very high proportion of the Maoris working in that industry speak te reo (possibly because they work in whare whananga or similar).

On the other side of the equation, Maoris in some professions were less likely than average to be a Maori speaker. These were usually working-class professions. The correlation between working in the transport, postal and warehousing industry and being Maori was 0.47, whereas the correlation between working in this industry and being a Maori speaker was only 0.41. From this we can conclude that very few of the Maoris working in transport, postal and warehousing are Maori speakers.

In summary, this suggests that the average Maori speaker is a Maori who is a bit older and better educated than the Maori average.

*

Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people.

The Five Rejections

It is not easy to say what the alt-centre is, but it is easy to say what it isn’t. The alt-centre is the sixth political position: the one that remains after the explicit rejection of the other five positions. This rejection is necessary because all five positions have evidently failed. This essay seeks to delineate the boundaries of alt-centrism by rejecting the flaws of the other positions.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the old right that the current system is the best system and that the status quo ought to be maintained.

The desire to always keep everything the same is an instinct born of fear of change and greed. Not everything has to stay the same as much as possible and for as long as possible. To fear change is to misorient oneself because everything changes; all of the contents of consciousness are temporary. Therefore, the alt-centre rejects conservatism for conservatism’s sake.

Much the same as all of the non-right-wing positions, the alt-centre is appalled by heavy concentrations of wealth and power in few hands. The alt-centre shares a sense with these other positions that gross inequalities of privilege are obscene, on account of that there is a limit to how much privilege can be earned. Compassion for those who are on the edges of poverty is paramount.

Verticalism is rejected by the alt-centre, for the reason that the majority of people in Western societies are educated to a decent level and can therefore be expected to be reasoned with. Reasoning with people, instead of bullying, mocking, coercing or abusing them, is how bonds of solidarity are formed, and so it ought to be encouraged where practicable.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the old left that the ruling class is inherently illegitimate and that anyone with wealth or power is bad.

Just because someone has wealth and power doesn’t make them evil. Trying to rip people down because of envy is not a behaviour that will lower the prevalence of human suffering on this planet – to the contrary. That sort of resentment-based aggression is precisely the sort of slave morality that the alt-centre rejects.

Horizontalism is therefore also rejected by the alt-centre. Instead, a premium is placed on scientific evidence. This tells us clearly that there are no two things in Nature that are precisely equal, and therefore a desire to equalise everything is a recipe for eternal conflict.

The correct way to get those born into unearned privilege to relinquish it is not by threats and violence and it isn’t by trashing the whole world. It is by reason. The alt-centre seeks to minimise the deleterious effects of unearned privilege by maintaining strong bonds of solidarity across all groups within society, so that none are incentivised to hoard wealth by an indifference to the poverty of others.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the old centre that an insipid compromise between the old left and the old right is the way forward.

You can’t have a compromise between people who seek to cling to power at all costs and people who just want to trash the whole world. This inevitably leads to short-term solutions that fail to meet the genuine long-term challenges of our political and economic climate. These short-term solutions end up causing more damage in the medium to long term.

Neoliberalism is an example of an insipid compromise. In the case of neoliberalism, we get a plastic corporate liberalism that seeks to McDonaldsise the whole planet for the sake of maximum profit and efficiency. Such compromises are considered categorically wrong by the alt-centrist, which abhors reducing things to their lowest common denominator.

In any case, the centre demands the perpetuation of the Establishment, and the alt-centre cannot accept this. The alt-centre cannot accept that the Establishment be allowed to remain on their throne. They have fucked up too badly. In any case, the challenges facing us are too massive, and our culture too sclerotic to adapt to meet them – they can only be overcome with a new paradigm of thought.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the alt-right that segregation and separation are the answers to the failures of the Establishment.

There are many competing ideologies in the world, and most of them have glaringly obvious flaws, it is true. But isolating oneself from these competing ideologies, like a monk hiding in some mountain retreat, is not a philosophy that can sustain an entire nation. Just because the Establishment has failed doesn’t mean we have to throw all of societal advancement and all culture out the window.

Just because the Western World has fallen into chaos, doesn’t mean that we should swing as far as possible in the direction of order. The lessons of the Hemoclysm are still relevant – absolute power still corrupts absolutely. All totalitarian ideas about controlling information or limiting freedom of expression – whether in cyberspace or meatspace – are rejected by the alt-centre.

Related to this, the alt-centre rejects all obsessions with degeneracy, purity and wholesomeness. Altering one’s consciousness for the sake of creativity or social interaction is not “degenerate”. The alt-centre argues that avoiding all drugs is saying no to life, and is therefore an anti-life philosophy. Likewise, the desire for an ethnostate is anti-life, because a diversity of human phenotypes is natural. The alt-centre rejects all anti-life philosophies.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the alt-left that diversity is strength.

It’s obvious that having some things in common is necessary for any group to function as a group. In order for the concept of a group to even be possible, the individuals that institute it have to have something in common. The more they have in common, the stronger the bonds of solidarity will be. These strong bonds of solidarity are necessarily for a society to function.

It’s also obvious that open borders are simply going to lead to a primitive, precarious and paranoid existence where nothing can be certain from one moment to the next. There is no moral imperative to make our societies more diverse just for the sake of it. Indeed, the alt-centre would argue that diversity allows the ruling classes to divide and conquer the masses more effectively. The correct balance between solidarity and diversity has to be struck.

Moreover, the alt-centre completely rejects the new anti-white narrative that is being promoted by the alt-left. The only real privilege is class privilege: a black man with money is more privileged than a poor white man. This remains the core of alt-centre philosophy. The moral imperative is not to God, or to the State, but to alleviate suffering in our fellows.

These five rejections are sufficient for the alt-centre to carve out its own niche in political space. It is one that will grow, and may well eventually come to power. Anyone who repudiates any one of these rejections cannot be an alt-centrist.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

How to Tell if You’re Really A Libertarian

The most famous political chart puts everyone into one of four quadrants: authoritarian left and authoritarian right at the top, and libertarian left and libertarian right at the bottom. It’s fashionable to claim to be libertarian, but not everyone who does so really is. This essay looks at how to tell if you’re really a libertarian.

The political consensus of the Western World is still profoundly affected by the horrors of the authoritarian governments of the 20th century.

Authoritarian governments in the form of Nazism and Communism caused the deaths of some 150 million people, directly or indirectly, through a variety of wars and famines. These acts live on in infamy with names such as the Holocaust and Holodomor, the very mention of which summon images of starvation, misery and death.

Since then, it’s been extremely unfashionable to be authoritarian. But it’s still tempting – as tempting as it ever was. The thought that some ideas are not merely great, but so great that they have to be forced on the populace at gunpoint by a government that will kill its own citizens before it will compromise, is one that reoccurs throughout human history. All that’s necessary for it to actually become a reality is a sufficient degree of arrogance, or self-righteousness, on the part of the rulers.

Once a government has enough hubris – and whether they are left or right doesn’t matter here – they will start thinking that the lessons of history don’t apply to them, or that their actions are so righteous that human nature will change in recognition, or that they are uniquely talented and therefore can achieve things that no previous rulers could.

Once this stage is reached, it’s possible for the government to start doing things to people whether they want it or not, instead of helping them get things done in accordance with their own wills, and at that stage the government meets the definition of authoritarian. We have ideas so good they have to be compulsory! is the rallying-cry of the self-righteous authoritarian.

A person who is really a libertarian will stay committed to liberty no matter how tempting the proposal to abandon it might be. They therefore reject the idea that ideas can be so good that the government has to force them on people. Exceptions to this rule are only made in the gravest circumstances – never to try to make the world better, whether the justification be to “put order to things” or for “the greatest good”.

A person who is really a libertarian will reject proposals from both the left and the right if those proposals are too authoritarian, even if they have minor sympathies towards one of the two poles.

They will not (for example) only reject leftist authoritarian ideas, such as raising taxes or making a minority language compulsory for all school children, while accepting any and all right-wing authoritarian ideas, such as starting wars or drug prohibition.

A person who claims to be a left libertarian will happily criticise the left if it does authoritarian things. Many authoritarian leftists have been agitating to remove speaking rights from various conservatives (or even just people labelled “conservative” by the media), a process they refer to as “deplatforming”. This is blatantly authoritarian, so anyone supporting it on the grounds that it furthers leftist interests cannot also claim to be a libertarian.

Not even if they believe that the left is the side of liberty! Being an authoritarian under the guise that one’s authoritarianism ultimately serves libertarian ends is a fail. All psychopathic dictators claim this.

Likewise, a person who claims to be a right libertarian will genuinely be against crony capitalism and genuinely be against the political influence that large corporate interests exert on the legislation. They will refuse to complain only about taxation, and will also complain about corporate welfare and bailouts of inefficient companies.

Because authoritarianism is so unfashionable, many people will try and sneak authoritarian ideas into the discourse under the guise of them being either left or right. If the person they are speaking with is simple enough to equate either left or right eternally with libertarianism, then getting that person to oppose something is as simple as equating it with whichever of the left or right that person associates with authoritarianism.

The left does this with rhetoric about the need to make up for past injustices and for forced equality of outcome, and the right does this by stirring up fear of government and of minorities. Any person who is really a libertarian will reject all of this reasoning, and will remain steadfast to the belief that ideas should not be forced onto others, because justifying authoritarianism from either the left or the right will justify more of it from the other side as well.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism has gone from being a little-known condition to being a condition that everyone is accused of having, autistic or not. However, just because everyone is aware of autism doesn’t mean that everything they think they know about the condition is accurate. This article looks at how to write believable and realistic characters with autism.

The most characteristic feature of autism is a pronounced difficulty with social interaction, usually coupled with an obsession with certain repeated actions. This difficulty with social interaction is enough to cause immense difficulty in the lives of some autists and the people around them. This goes beyond mere awkwardness, to a point where fundamental communication becomes difficult.

From the perspective of a person with autism, much of the difficulty about living with the conditions comes from an inability to make the intuitive understandings about other people, and their behaviour, that is usually taken for granted. A person without autism (a “neurotypical”) seems to have an almost psychic understanding of how other people think and behave. Social interaction just seems so effortless for such people.

Your protagonist might have difficulty getting along with someone who has autism, on account of that the autistic character doesn’t seem to understand what the protagonist believes to be the rules of social interaction. The protagonist might make jokes that don’t get laughed at, and come to think that the autistic character doesn’t like them, when the problem is a low level of communication.

Then again, your protagonist might get along with an autistic character just fine. Autists can make a lot of sense, in their own way. Often, a person with autism will be capable of observing human interaction without all the pretense and brainwashing, and can arrive at objective, if odd and unconventional, conclusions. These can sometimes be valuable wisdom (and they can sometimes be juvenile truisms).

Viewed from the outside, an autistic character might appear as excessively orderly, to the point of dysfunction. Autists often like to ritualise certain behaviours (much like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), to the point where not being able to perform the ritual sometimes creates unbearable anxiety. Their speech can be likewise regimented and repetitive. It’s common for them to compulsively stack objects or line them up.

Moreover, autists often feel solidarity with other neurodiverse people, and vice-versa. Autism is entirely different to, say, schizophrenia, but much of the lived experience of autism is similar to other mental conditions. The social rejection and the anxiety about more rejection, the anxiety, the shame, the frustration, the despair: these are all emotions that mentally ill people tend to experience more than others. An autist might relate strongly to someone who also feel them, even if that person is not autistic.

If your protagonist has autism themselves, you will have to be very careful about how you render their internal dialogue, should you write about them in the first person. A lot of fiction is poorly written because the characters in it have an unrealistically high level of understanding the behaviour of other people. An autistic protagonist will frequently be baffled by the behaviour they encounter. Much of their behaviour will be a complete mystery.

One of the most dramatic things about autism is the emotional consequences of the social difficulties that arise from having the condition. The awkwardness of autism is often mistaken by other people for malice, psychopathy, pedophilia, terrorist intent and all manner of other things. This makes life extremely difficult and can make for a harrowing story (unless your protagonist turns out to be a pedophile or terrorist).

It ought to be easy to engender sympathy from your reader here, because most people are sympathetic to the sense of injustice that comes from undeserved social rejection. Despite that, the other characters might feel like they have good reasons to reject the autistic character. After all, it is hard to tell the difference between social clumsiness and malice sometimes.

Because autism is a spectrum, there are many subclinical versions of it. A character with a subclinical level of autism will be relatable for many – after all, there is no person who has perfectly smooth social interactions all day every day. For them, their autism might be something that just makes life more colourful or interesting.

Autism can increase in severity all the way up to the point where a character with it will just about live in their own world, divorced from the concerns of most of the others. Realistically, a character with severe autism will have a hard time being a major character in your story because their degree of communication impairment will be so severe that no-one else will understand them. More moderate forms could involve a degree of social impairment that can be more or less overcome.

There is reason to believe that small amounts of autism can be helpful in certain occupational fields, especially those that pertain to the imposition of order upon chaos. Therefore, an autist need not be presented as conspicuously mentally ill. They might have found a niche that suits them perfectly, in some job that requires order to be imposed upon chaos. Mechanics and computer engineers are favourites.

*

This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Why the All Blacks Will Do Kapa O Pango Against Argentina

The All Blacks will play the Argentinian Pumas this Saturday night in Nelson. This is the first time the All Blacks have played in Sun City, and as a result it’s expected to be the biggest thing ever to happen here. Only one thing is more certain than an All Black win – and that’s the fact that the All Blacks will do Kapa O Pango and not Ka Mate on Saturday night.

As most people are aware, the All Blacks have two hakas: the traditional Ka Mate, composed by Te Rauparaha around 1820, and the modern Kapa O Pango, composed this century. A smaller number know that Te Rauparaha was some kind of warlord and that Kapa O Pango came in during Tana Umaga’s time as All Black captain.

Te Rauparaha was indeed a war hero – to some. To others, he was every bit the war criminal as other war leaders tend to be viewed as by the people they attacked. He played a leading role in the Musket Wars as a war chief of the Ngati Toa. Armed with musketry, Te Rauparaha’s forces swept all the way down to Kaiapoi, and along the way he carried out some of the most ruthless genocides ever seen in Polynesia.

As this article luridly describes, the existing residents of the South Island were exterminated in a campaign of brutality that would have appalled even the men who destroyed the Aztec Empire under Cortez. Mass murder followed by cannibalism and enslavement of any survivors was the standard practice of war parties in the New Zealand of the 1820s, and the forces under Te Rauparaha were not an exception.

By the early 1840s, the Northern South Island was almost completely depopulated, which made it ripe for European settlement. Nelson and Blenheim were early growth centres on account of this; the road between them, where the Maungatapu Murders took place, was once a relatively busy highway, even if it could only be traversed by horse and cart or by foot.

This is the reason why Nelson has the honour of many national firsts – such as the the location of the first rugby match ever played in New Zealand, an 18-a-side affair at the Botanical Gardens, near the Centre of New Zealand.

So to say that Te Rauparaha is not well thought of by the Maori tribes local to the Northern South Island, or what’s left of them, is an understatement, akin to saying that Adolf Hitler is not well thought of among Poles. For the All Blacks to perform a haka written by him, on the same grounds where he committed possibly the worst atrocities New Zealand has ever seen, would be too great an insult for the local Maori to bear.

Steve Hansen and Kieran Read, ever the master strategists and culturally acute on account of being in charge of New Zealand’s single most successful example of intercultural co-operation, are entirely aware of this, and will no doubt avoid performing the haka that has particular sinister connotations to the local Maoris of Nelson. No surprises: we will see Kapa O Pango this weekend.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Should A Right to Animal Companionship Be Added to the Bill of Rights Act?

Animal companionship is neither a luxury nor a vice

The next attack by the do-gooders on the freedom of people to live their lives unmolested by government interference seems like it’s going to involve attempts to make companion animals illegal, usually on the grounds of some environmentalist excuse such as protecting wildlife. This essay argues that the control freaks need to be headed off at the pass on this issue, by enshrining the human right to animal companionship in the Bill of Rights Act.

The do-gooders have learned nothing from their failed attempts to ban alcohol, cannabis, psychedelics, and currently nicotine. Wielding the power of the state as if a waterblaster, they have attempted to blast away evil by getting the Police to smash in the heads of anyone dealing in this contraband. As anyone with an IQ over 90 could have predicted, this clumsy and cack-handed administration of punishment has only led to immense resentment and unfortunate unforeseen consequences.

People will naturally disobey unjust laws. So when the control freaks try and ban people from owning cats, as has been suggested by the mad witch Eugenie Sage with regards to Wellington, we decent people need to be ready to take counteraction. In fact, we ought to take pre-emptive action now, and agitate for the right to animal companionship to be added as a amendment to the Bill of Rights Act.

There are three major reasons why this should happen.

The first reason is that cats and dogs, and the presence of cats and dogs, are part of the natural life of humans. As described at length here, humans have lived with cats for so long on account of needing the cats to control the rodents that attacked their grain supplies, that we have essentially formed a symbiotic relationship with them. We have lived with dogs for even longer.

Cats are effectively a technology that has developed for the sake of pest control. Dogs are effectively a technology that has developed for the sake of hunting and security.

There are tens of thousands of rural dwellers who could tell you about the consequences of not owning a cat when you live in the country, as many Kiwis do. The consequences are to have everything in your house destroyed by rodents. The situation is not much better in the cities, because wherever people live they store food and throw away rubbish, and either action attracts rodents.

Because rodents and disease are constant companions, owning a cat is an essential part of home hygiene. People who are aware of the hygiene benefits of cats would no sooner not own one than they would stop washing their own hair.

The second major reason why a right to animal companionship ought to be enshrined in the Human Rights Act is because of the mental health benefits of animal companionship. These benefits are so great that any attempt to take them away from people ought to be construed as cruelty, the same way that it is illegal to withhold a medicine from people.

Loneliness is one of the biggest killers in our modern societies, and is a main driver of suicide. The natural tribal model has collapsed under the pressures of industrial capitalism and the population explosion brought about by the Green Revolution, and there is ample evidence that a lack of healthy social relationships is what is responsible for the increasing rates of youth suicide.

Science has shown that for people with compromised social support networks, such as the elderly or the unwell, animal companionship has a massive positive effect on their mental health. For people in these situations, quality time with a cat or a dog might be the only quality time they spend with any sentient being, and can easily be the difference between psychological good health and mental illness.

The third major reason to write something about animal companionship into the Bill of Rights Act is to pre-empt Government overreach. We already know that the kind of person who runs for Parliament, and who succeeds in becoming a lawmaker, is usually a power-crazed control freak with little to no respect for the free will of the voting public.

The thought that these overpaid bureaucrat-psychopaths in Wellington are sitting around thinking up new excuses to take rights away from people is enough to stoke outrage. Where does it end? Do we get told how many calories of food we’re allowed to consume per week, or how many hours we’re allowed to spend on the Internet?

The control freaks need to be pre-empted with a clearly defined and explained law that makes it illegal to ban either cats or dogs from a given neighbourhood, or to discriminate against a potential property tenant on the grounds that they own a pet. The Bill of Rights Act should be amended to state that New Zealanders have the right to animal companionship.

New Zealand has, sadly, destroyed our hard-won reputation as a human rights leader with our complete failure to deal with cannabis law reform. We could win that reputation back by taking intelligent and progressive measures to combat mental illness. One of these measures could be the entrenchment of the right of New Zealanders to have animal companionship in their place of dwelling.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).