Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 7. 1969.
Letters To The Editor
Letters To The Editor
All Letters Submitted For Publication Must Be Signed With The Writer's Own Name. No Pseudonyms Will Be Accepted Save In Exceptional Circumstances.
I Found somewhat baffling a letter From A. W. Strange in the issue of April 15. I am wondering whether he has played with the 1963 South African rugby league team contained coloureds. He says: "This team was made up very largely of South Africans playing the code professionally in Great Britain and Australia, amongst whom ARE a number of coloured South Africans."
I can state quite categorically that the tide which visited here wet all white. Mr T. E. Skinner's double standards on this issue are well known. As a working journalist I questioned him in 1965 on his connections with rugby league on this four by South African league players and how he could reconcile the fact that he exhorted Federation of labour members to boycott the Springboks' tour here that year. All I received was a flood of prevarication, of which it was impossible to make any sense.
L. S. Knight.
Your friendly neighbourhood Philistine here again, Last week a letter in your column reached new depths in the ridiculous—the subject originally under fire was Salient's record reviews and not my personal tastes. I feel your record reviewer hat ballsed-up the original gripe of one Mr Pretty. Mr Pretty recommends for us ilks a dose of culture, but culture is a very relative concept. He regards "Liebestraum" or "Largo" as culture. I'll take "Spoonful". To each his own.
I should be most grateful if you would arrange publication of the following details in Salient, since my own efforts to date have been unsuccessful.
A 23-year-old student of Sociology in Osaka, Japan, wishes to correspond in English with a New Zealand girl student. He plans to visit New Zealand sometime in 1970. His name and address are: Kunio Tanibata, 5 Suzaki-cho, Wakayama-City 641, Japan.
M. C. Leon.
How bloody clever of you to perceive a plot where none exists. Salient, swathed in mystic robes, gazes deep into the smokey orb and wet not industry but sinister (nevertheless right wing) plots to subvert the peasant economy.
I presume these spiked balls, so cunningly conjured up—by the way has Comrade Editor ever heard of enuendo? Ah, yes. hese balls, I presume, are destined for a communist enemy, which, unless statistics lie, are at present, with fiendish delight end an inordinate lack of scruples, bumping off New Zealand soldiery.
I remain, sir, without a doubt, your local C.I.A. agent.
W. W. Berryman.
I Wish to thank Grant Thompson in the last Salient for taking the trouble to comment on my reply to your Literary Editor. To promote more discussion, to open the debate Trevor James seems to hove been attempting to foster for some weeks now, was part of my intention.
Mr Thompson is, however, at error in one or two of hit suppositions about me. The "New Zealand literary set" is something in which I have little interest, preferring at I do to go it alone: indeed. I know only four poets personally. There are the cliques, of course, but these are by their very nature pretty masturbatory and therefore, hardly fertile ground for the development of a distinctive and healthy literature. I look issue with Mr James primarily because of what I thought to bo hit peculiar preachings, which have at times bordered on arrogance. I sympathise with his general aims.
The way of my laying what I said was not, so far at I am aware, derivative from any of the tin gods of Kiwi Poetry. It was, I think, vigorously put—hardly the hallmark of our national polemic.
As for my standing "on the scene". I have been published in "The N.Z. Listener", "Cock". "Crucible", "N.Z.U. Arts Festival Yearbook 1968", Salient, and I am to be published in "Arena" and "Argot". Don't think I'm boasting —one seems to need "Landfall" behind one to do that—but I am fairly well-known at a poet—good or bad. I've had my share of rejection slips — which is, presumably, the same hang-up as the one which prompted your snide remarks re certain of our literary magazines.
I don't regard myself at a "Contemporary New Zealand Poet", simply because, like a few others, I'm not exactly in the mainstream of Kiwi Poetry—and never, God willing, will be. And I know all about poetry Before Eliot—I just happen to think the freer poetry it of formal restrictions and devices these days, the better it is for it.
My reference to Mr James being an "academic" does not put me on side with The Pig—it's all a matter of Who understands What.
"Amateurism" among student poets? A sweeping statement. Pick up a volume by one of the aforementioned tin gods sometime, and see if you reckon it the work of a "professional".
And, Mr Thompson, do you really Know death? Do you Know the purpose of life? Are you Sure you Have a soul? That's what poetry's about—digging for answers, emerging with clues to what could be the truth. That's also why poetry parallels life Itself to bloody well.
I do not "not like" the literary page. I do not "like" pages, or magazines, or books per se— but what's in or on them, yes, may be. And in spite of, or perhaps because of Mr James' Continuing Campaign, he has yet to come up with much of any worth or value—as he himself has the good sense to admit. And, oh, those SHY people who hide behind initials — apart from Pound and Apollinaire, of coursel
An "honest" response it may well be—but, unfortunately, there's more to literature and art (or Art) than naked, ingenuous honesty. The difficulty is always to keep that none-the-less integral quality there, in just proportion to such things as style, form, end good expression , Most Kiwi Poetry is NOT honest for these reasons, an din my humble opinion it isn't GOOD for the same reason. There's a vacuum at the tired heart of it, and the job young poets in this country have other, more various heart — be-is to move away and make an-cause the old one, even reconditioned, or as we have teen in the work of some, transplanted, just won't go. Given a fair chance publications-wise, I'd say, going from the evidence of the work of a lot of relative "unknowns". I'd give us excellent odds. We don't need A School —but practical collaboration on the creation of new outlets would not go amiss.
As you're one of the unknowns, Mr Thompson, you might like to contribute to a book called "The Next Revolution", P.O. Box 3538 Wellington. We're not concerned with fashion—we want good, honest poetry.
In going through my desk I found an old "proof" for man's "immortal soul". I thought it was time it saw the light of day so here it is.
Physics is the study of the interactions between matter and energy in a special time framework. On a macroscopic scale it is observed that these interactions obey certain unbreakable laws. It is not known what causes these laws (or even what they are) but they do exist, and it may be deduced that they are universal Fundamentally, everything which is physical, matter and energy of this universe must conform to fixed laws, no matter how complicated these laws may be. There is no such thing as chance. If all the present were known, all the past could be determined, and all the Future predicted.
Man, however, does not conform to any physical law. His life and actions are based on his own decisions, they cannot be totally predetermined. If they could, the human race would just be helpless puppets in a gigantic act called life.
The question now arises: how does a man, composed of matter and energy, have the power to disregard the laws governing him? The only answer is that he contains something unphysical or spiritual, which has neither matter nor energy, which is the chief motivating force of hit free actions, and must be considered as his "soul" or real "life". To deny this is to deny physics to deny any purpose in man's existence, indeed it is to deny thought.
All thinking life forma must have a "soul". Indeed, the great difference between the animate and inanimate must be the presence of the "soul". And as energy and matter "can neither be created or destroyed, only changed in form", surely this soul, which has the power to control energy and matter, at least in the human brain, can also "neither be created or destroyed".
If you can't understand it, read it again: I couldn't follow it for a while. The argument seems to be based on two premises:
(1) All that is physical obeys certain fixed lews.
(2) Man does not completely obey these fixed laws.
From the acceptance of both of these premises, the conclusion logically follows:
Man it not all physical.
The second part of the "proof" assumes the conclusion of the first, that man is not all physical and therefore possesses something which it not physical, which for convenience is called the "soul".
It then applies the principle of "conservation of energy" to this "soul" end reason I that this "soul" is not destroyed at human death.
If this proof contains no plan, then the philosophical implications teem staggering.
I Would like to comment on one of the motions passed by NZUSA which states that "the criteria for scholarships awarded to Malaysian students are fairly based on considerations of merit alone".
I believe this motion ironically contradicts the other motion) NZUSA pasted on Malaysian students.
This is a supreme case of a foreign bunch of individuals trying to interfere with the internal affairs of a country ignoramously, for all the "bunch" may proclaim of non-intervention (?).
The situation in Malaysia is such that awards in scholarships cannot be based on merit solely because :
(1) Malaysia is a multi-racial country with generally economic power in the hands of a minority, the Chinese.
(2) One race (minority Chinese) is culturally and socially more advanced than the native races. This meant the industrious Chinese will usually top the class while the natives will bring up the rear because of their adagio tempo of life.
On these two counts, can one in all seriousness advocate awards to be based solely on merits? Will this not produce a situation of power ultimately to rest in the hands of a minority whose loyalty to the nation is yet dubious? Will the oppressed races be satisfied with this kind of situation?
Proportionate scholarships it one of the means to help the natives help themselves.
I have no grudge against NZ-USA, but I sincerely hope that it would investigte matters in depth before making a policy-decision and not to just lisen to the gibes of a group who only wish to "generate selfishness by more selfishness."
H. K. Lim.
I Would like to point out that the dates set for the Capping Cere-money, Faculty Dinner and Capping Ball make if very difficult for anyone who lives out of Wellington to attend more than one function. I am a science graduate and the three functions I would like to attend are spread from April 28 to May 9—thus necessitating three trips to Wellington.
I have been looking forward to the opportunity of getting together with people I studied with but now I find the social programme very disappointing. Surely it could have been arranged with the out-of-town people in mind, as those who live in Wellington can easily keep in touch.
Would it not have been possible to inform us of the social events when we decided to attend the Capping Ceremony? It seems hardly worthwhile to make a trip to Wellington for just one event.
The programme shows complete lack of thought for those people who no longer live in Wellington. I find it hard to believe that the spread in the programme is due 10 circumstance.
R. N. Harvey (Mrs).
Mr David Howman and the Sports Committee rejected an Annual General Meeting policy motion "on the grounds that total severence of communication between New Zealand and countries practising apartheid can only lead to a hardening of attitudes by the governments of those countries" (Salient 5).
This is expediency not reason. Continued contacts can help to entrench apartheid in sport by absolving South Africans and New Zealanders from the need to do anything about it. For example, South Africa only bowed to the wishes of the N.Z. Rugby Union the Sports Committee? Surely they when they were given a "No-Maoris, No-Tour" ultimatum.
How sincere is Mr Howman and the Sports Committee? Surely they know that that contact they speak of is only with while South Africans while contact between New Zealand sportsmen and non-white South Africans is either non-existent or secret.
Until the South African government allows sport to be organised on non-racial lines we should cease all sporting contact). It is difficult to believe that their attitudes can get harder than they already are.
A. M. Lobus.
O. K. Dad
I Must agree with Mr Hugh Fyson (Salient Special issue) when he speaks of Academic Freedom and Its value. I must, however, point out that this freedom is not the unique preserve of our, or any other university.
This freedom he speaks of must be admitted to those outside our society, looking in—and pray tell— what is more academic then the free and careful study of rats in their environment?
P. J. Gerrie.