Sunday, November 20, 2005

THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER

The ant works hard in the withering heat allsummer long, building hishouse and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he'sa fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter,the ant is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food orshelter, so he dies out in the cold.

vs.

THE NEW ZEALAND MODERN VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building hishouse and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he'sa fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter,the ant is warm and well fed.

The shivering grasshopper calls a pressconference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warmand well fed while others less fortunate like him are cold and starving.

TVNZ shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper,with cuts to a video of the ant in his comfortable warm home with atable filled with food. Kiwis are stunned that in a country of suchwealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others haveplenty. The Green Party, Maori Party , the trade unions, the CoalitionAgainst Poverty and the usual bunch of professional rioters demonstratein front of the ant's house.

TVNZ, interrupting an Iwi cultural festival special from a NorthlandMarae with breaking news, broadcasts them singing "We Shall Overcome. "Sue Bradford rants in an interview with Paul Holmes that the ant hasgotten rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediatetax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."

In response topolls, the Labour Government drafts the Economic Equity and GrasshopperAnti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. Theant's taxes are reassessed and he is also fined for failing to hiregrasshoppers as helpers. Without enough money to pay both the fine andhis newly imposed retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by thegovernment.The ant moves to Australia and starts a successful agribiz company.

TVNZ later shows the now fat grasshopper finishing up the last of the ant'sfood though Spring is still months away, while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he hadn't maintained it. Inadequate government funding is blamed, Winston Peters is appointed to head a commission of enquiry that will cost $10,000,000. The grasshopper is soon dead of a drug overdose.

The Auckland Herald blames it on obvious failure of government toaddress the root causes of despair arising from social inequity. The abandoned house is taken over by a gang of migrant spiders, praised bythe government for enriching New Zealands multicultural diversity, who promptly start terrorizing the community.

And that folks is unfortunately how it is.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 160 years of sustained abuse and cultural suppression the grasshopper species was made to feel inadequate and second rate. As a result of these feelings that were endemic of his socio-economic position, the grasshopper in question had every right to feel that he was due some form of compensation. The mere fact that other organizations and government came to his rescue, wanting to punish the ant and tip the balance of wealth in favour of the grasshopper, for past injustices, belies the fact that do-gooders did not think ahead to the consequences of their actions.

Was the end result something the grasshopper wanted? I don’t think so… after all he was content living a subsistence living frolicking during summer. He merely needed to be educated are to how best save for the coming hard times in a society he didn’t understand or particularly want to understand.

Given the climate of cultural indifference that had made him an outcast for generations, it is little wonder that he did not know how to care for his newly acquired wealth. He didn’t necessarily need the trappings of the modern ant world; they were thrust upon him by a well meaning but misguided society. Had they taken the time to talk to the grasshopper from the outset and asked his feelings and desires beyond the immediate physical state, they may have discovered that there was a simple and fairly cheap solution to the problem. Furthermore how dare they presume to know what’s best for a grasshopper, after all they have not lived in his shoes for even one day!

The poor ant was made to suffer through no fault of his own, for the mere fact that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was aware of the past mistakes his people had made, heck the world was rife with past injustices, how many ants have you stepped on or set alight with a magnifying glass on a hot summer afternoon as a child, his only thought in life was to be the best ant he could be, strive to live his life in ant bliss without too much interference from the government. The grasshopper could look after himself, after all he has done for years, why did it need to change now.

The only people who benefited from this pointless exercise were the travel agents and the Australian government. Ants are known as hard working souls, their toil and taxes will only benefit the Australian economy. Good luck to him and boo the goody two shoes who think they are elected to foist their pretentious opinions on us all, thinking they are making our country a better place.

Now shall I fly Qantas or Air New Zealand?

Bernard….$1 if you can guess the author

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