In order to commemorate the Flag Referendum, a new low in New Zealand’s political incoherence, mashing up neoliberal branding by clip art, patriotic zealotry for a nation of post colonial amnesiacs, and a general sense of sourness, a nation building exercise turned feral …. a poem for the times.
In the fifteenth year of the new millennium,
we will be monitored by virtual pins stuck in Google Maps
while the national insecurity is measured in terror bytes,
lorded over by the eye in the sky Pry Minister.
The State is a self-select committee of corporate Boy Racers
doing it for the lolz and drifting into the economic gravel,
while Leader of the Opposition: Your Choice is secretly pre-filmed
for streaming on X Factor with final decision by 0900 viewer poll.
Smug hipsters facebook for a frack free future
from organic iPads manufactured from flax root and sunflower seed.
The national bull rush team is first amongst equals,
beating out South Vanuatu in extra time,
while the old timers croak Go West young man
as Kiwi refugees flood into Sunshine Coast retirement camps
or telecommute to the Outer Pilbara
from Kaikohe, Johnsonville and Geraldine.
The Trans Pacific data artery is clogged
by fibre optic broadband botulism
as crisis response mobilizes crack focus groups in social media rebrands
to placate the prosumers of our white gold.
In a DIY nation of passionate foodies and celebrity nobodies,
climbing financial snakes and property ladders,
to be initiated in the Reality CV of self-improvement gurus
where who you are is defined by who you want to be.
Te Wai Pounamu is given over to platinum class luxury lodges
(overlooking canals of deodorised effluent)
so the Chief Operating Officers of the weightless economy
can score a hole in one from the summit of Mitre Peak.
All we can do is thumb twiddle YOLO furiously
from inside the GFC car wreck,
deregulated, desensitised, dumbed up and sold out,
reciting the Prayer of Public Private Partnership:
Give us this day our Daily Weetbix,
Give us this day the Cup, the Shield, the Glory;
kids locked in the subterranean car park of Sky City,
100% pure, yeah right, yeah nah,
while an invisible hand remotely controls
the eyeballs of couch bound supplicants.
(First published in Mad Skillz for the Demon Operators.)