Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Stone Idols of Political Correctness

When is a rock not a rock?

When, it’s imbued – that’s imbuing of a spiritual kind, by the way.

And much like the better known 'rock-stars' out in the public domain, rocks like this, have to fly first class.

When Christchurch opened last Saturday’s newspaper (Press 14th June) readers were left to muse over a front-page article which back-grounded the zany journey of a 35 kilogram lump of green stone (more commonly known as jade, or pounamu in Maori) between Christchurch and its sister city in China, Wuchan.

This large stone was gifted by The Christchurch City Council, and flew in the first class section of an Air New Zealand plane all the way to China.

And because of it was imbued with the spirit of the Ngai Tahu tribe ( for the benefit of overseas readers a tribe = iwi ) two members of the iwi went along for the journey.

To be fair to the members of the iwi that accompanied the green stone, they ended-up in ‘cattle class’ and it was only the lump of rock that got waited-on up in first class.

Readers, bemusement at this almost comical scenario, turned to anger when it was reported the local Christchurch rate-payers portion of the trip was a cool $2,500 (not including the cost of the rock in the first place, which for the record was $5,000 max, so it's not going to pass muster with Elizabeth Taylor or be the prime target in a jewel heist )

$2,500 was in effect the price paid to abandon common sense, in preference to the stone idols of political correctness.

Maori protocol prescribed that any inanimate object blessed with the tribes ‘spiritual force’ needed to be treated in such reverence, and handed over by only those in the iwi with authority to do so, and this make-believe was good enough for the Mayor and his politically correct minions at the local Council.

But fear not residents of Christchurch, The Canterbury Atheists have gone ‘into bat’ for the maligned rate-payers of Christchurch, and anyone else, who has progressed beyond 'looking at tea-leaves in the bottom of cups'.
We've asked our Mayor (Bob Parker) the following questions:

1.) Surely it would have been cheaper to arrange an ‘unblessed’ piece of green-stone and air-freight the thing?

2.) Is it only Ngai Tahu, who have a monopoly blessing rocks & inanimate objects in this fashion, or can the rest of us take imbuing lessons and get in on the lark? Seattle is one place I’d like to visit and as a Sister-City I’m putting my own hat in the ring, both as a spiritual & practical body-guard.

3.) When an inanimate object needs blessing does the Council get comparative costs from other ‘approved’ providers like say The Druids, who are, after-all ‘into rocks in a big way’?

4.) How do the ratepayers actually know it was properly imbued in the first place and the spirit didn’t jump-out of his/her first-class seat, and disappear in a puff of smoke, prior to arriving, thus rendering the whole expensive process redundant?

I will post Mayor Bob’s answers to these pertinent questions, the moment he replies (take note of below posted at the time the article was submitted online).
Authors Note : For the record I have Maori blood (per my fathers family tree my iwi is Muaüpoko) Irrespective of my personal heritage, I'm expecting Mayor Bob to 'play the race card' in his reply. By accusing detractors like me of racism, rather than seeing our opposition as rationalism, he will attempt to stifle debate on the legitimacy of his Council funding this superstitious nonsense about 'rocks with spirits'. This will be his tact, for sure.

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