Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 10. 23rd May 1973
Christian Belief and Rational Thought
Your heading 'Pie in the Sky' over the letter by Arthur McKenna in the last Salient really made me laugh. The correspondent's comment was that the hope of peace and reward in Heaven, so clearly spelt in Scripture, encourages a person to greatness.
But your little jab was comical because it came from a Marxist, one who holds to the biggest mass of wishful thinking that's around today.
Marxism may have many appealing features. But it's basic tenets have been shot full of holes too much for this doctrine to be credible to any person capable of calm thought. Let's be courageous enough to face reality.
Marx's view of history as being a continual class struggle is not held by modern historians; his historical predictions we see ourselves have not eventuated. The Marxist scorns the Christian who can however, prove the truth of his religious beliefs and their conformity to rational thought and human experience. He himself pins his hopes on what a fellow fallible 'genius' taught.
The Marxist goes into raptures over visions of the state of the world under Full Communism, when there will be an Utopia in existence, a Heaven on earth, or rather, a 'Pie on the' Earth'. The Marxist state will, they say, bring about the immediate or eventual solution to the great social problems. This ecstatic paean is far removed from the realism of Lenin or Stalin, of Russia and China today. But still the Marxist remains entranced by the beautiful vision of life, not after death but after the Revolution.
The Christian on the other hand, faces the blunt fact that there will always be someone who will betray the revolution, exert selfish independence or engage in the exploitation of others. To say conditioning governs such things makes man very much like a robot and does not explain the rise of a Baxter, the goodness of many ordinary people, the rebellion of young Soviet citizens or that of Marxists here. The Christian holds that unless there is more than a superficial change of political structure and system even the most liberated radical will have malice and selfishness to contend with in himself.
There is a pipe dream that Marxists have of 'brotherly love' spontaneously motivating members of the forthcoming Marxist state. But it is the Christian who doggedly prays and works to arouse and spread this love of one another, While the Marxist, therefore, plans the revolution which will enable him to put his science fiction into practice, the Christian faces reality and accepts the demands required of him by God and man.
Both of you mothers are Marxist/Leninist, right? So is the Executive, right? Well, if you are, you ought to read the fine print in the V.U.W.S.A. Annual Report. If you have a close look comrades, you will see that the Union Building Extension Trust stands at $45,988 and that $ 10,000 of this is invested in Broad-lands Dominion Group and yields 7½% — that's not a bad yield.
This year the yield ought to be a lot better because this money lending Broadlands, mothers, will have made more than a million dollars profit from their money lending activities. You can't find a better capitalist investment unless you bought up McIntosh in South Africa, and if you are so damned capitalist, why are you letting the Post Office Savings Bank pay you only 3% for the $11,477 you have got tucked away in there?
Stick to your capitalist principles comrades.
Mother of Six
P.S. So maybe you don't publish anonymous letters. Well, go thead, you revisit list bastards. M.S.
We Didn't Write It Ourselves, Honest!
Thank you for printing the articles giving the Pro-Life view of the abortion question. It shows that the present editors are responsible enough to present readers with a balanced discussion of this highly complex question. We can now make up our own minds on the matter instead of being driven like a mob of sheep.
It is so easy, especially for students, to be swayed by every influence and persuaded without really giving an issue personal thought. And an issue so grave in its ramifications for our society in the future surely demands much discussion and serious thought from others besides the feminist extremists or the determined Christian humanists.
Perspectives for Peace
The object of the present peace movement is to rouse the masses of the people to fight for the preservation of peace and for the prevention of another world war. Consequently the aim of this movement is not to [unclear: overthr] capitalism and establish socialism — it confines itself to the democratic aim of preserving peace. In this respect, the present day peace movement differs from the movement at the time of the First World War for the conversion of imperialist war into civil war, since the latter movement went further and pursued socialist aims.
It is possible that in a definite conjuncture of circumstances the fight for peace will develop here or there into a fight for socialism. But then it will no longer be the present day peace movement; it will be a movement for the overthrow of capitalism.
What is most likely is that the present day peace movement, as a movement for the preservation of peace, will, if it succeeds, result in preventing a particular war, in its temporary postponement, in the temporary preservation of a particular peace, in the resignation of a bellicose government and its supersession by another that is prepared temporarily to keep the peace. That, of course, will be good. Even very good. But, all the same, it will not be enough to eliminate the inevitability of wars between capitalist countries generally. It will not be enough, because, for all the successes of the peace movement, imperialism will remain, continue in force — and, consequently, the inevitability of wars will also continue in force.
To eliminate the inevitability of war, it is necessary to abolish imperialism.
Smile, You Uptight Bastards!
This Varsity is a great hall of learning and "self education", but it definitely isn't a Utopia. Maybe it shouldn't be this but I do feel it could be a place of a little more happiness (laughter and smiling are not lost arts; although maybe some of our muscles in our faces are out of condition). Try it sometime! Some people may think you're crazy and maybe you are! But we "university students must stand up for what we believe in" against all "odds".
If you really believe the smile is worth saving tell everyone or join the new radical group, the SSC — small smile community —aim: to promote the art of smile among its members with the ultimate objective of making the world a "smilier" place. He! he! he!
Food Co-op Facts
As a committee member-buyer for the Wellington Food Cooperative Society, I would like to point out a grave misinformation perpetrated in the first instance by the Mt Victoria People's Union known in our organisation as the 'Mt Vic Food Co-op' and in the second instance by Peter Rendall (Salient, May 1). This misinformation is that the Wellington Food Cooperative Society is restricted to students. I can unequivocably say that any person is able to, and is allowed to join the co-op.
New members are required to pay a $1 subscription unless they (or their friends) can show a group of existing members that this would involve them in hardship. The only other requirement is that the members enter into the cooperative spirit of the organisation. This involved one person from each depot providing help for half-a-day, or less each week.
The delivery before Mt Vic set up their own distribution organisation was so large that we only just managed to stack it on the truck (a 5 ton with canopy). This prompted the suggestion that our rate of growth would have to be slowed, by having no more advertising as had been previously organised. This suggestion resulted in the Mt Vic group setting up their independent distribution in the east and central city ares.
Since there are now two medium sized distribution groups the total number of people involved can be increased by both groups. New members are mainly non-students, i.e. workers because most students who want to join have joined and other people are beginning to hear about the benefits of the co-op.
The Wellington Food Cooperative Society includes non-students and students, with no distinction being drawn between them at any time. A certain amount of volunteer work has to be done to run the organisation. Students tend to do this, as they can more easily make time available during the day. Inability to help on Thursday does not debar a person from joining. At present people with heavy traffic licences will be welcomed more enthusiastically than other people, but any person wishing to join should contact me, Liz Morgan 28 Murphy St, Judy Taylor 17 Owen St, Newtown, Ian Kent 4 Thule St 757—734, or Ellice St 51—542.
Ian R. Salmon 757—718
The Olive Branch Goes Out
Salient has come to be the second most popular paper among me and my mates. We read it every week and especially enjoyed the series on "Demolitions and Engineering".
But what I have personally appreciated over the last few weeks is the absence of any forged letters with my name underneath them. The most important thing in life is not bitter fruitless quarrelling but communication as People.
Salient has gone some way towards restoring my faith in human nature in this respect. So thanks for the "new, unbiased look Salient" and all the best for future issues.
(We're pleased the Young Socialists are starting to enjoy "Salient" — in between jaunts to YSA meetings in Australia. One of our more light-hearted occupations is to look through "Socialist Action "for unsourced rip-offs from "Salient". We hope Terry and his mates like this week's issue — Eds.)
The Hart Room is a Brothel
I don't know whose prerogative it is to hand out rooms in the Student Union, but in my opinion someone's made a bad mistake. There was a nice big room a majority of students, (if they wanted to) had access to; i.e. the club storage room, on the middle floor. Now the clubs, with their lockers and Gestetner, have been pushed downstairs into a 'cubicle', hardly fit for breathing or moving around, and god only knows what happened to the upstairs room. It is a real brothel — and that's understating the case. Whoever the pricks are who inhabit the place, its about time they learnt to treat our property with a bit more respect. You see, the room is locked, so the average student (ok, so he/she doesn't give a damn anyway) doesn't know about the orgies and free-for-alls that must go on in there. I have no objections to that kind of behaviour — when you're wrecking you own property — but to splodge paint all over the floor, mess up the walls — I haven't looked at the ceiling; and I'm no tidiness fanatic, but anyone who saw the state of the room would also be highly annoyed, especially considering the transformation from its pristine glory when it was a club room!
What I object to is that four or five people who are in there occasionally have the right to really screw the place up behind locked doors! The evidence is there, plain to see, its just that not many people get to see inside the place. I suggest that Studass tries evicting them down-stairs — after all, they've proven they don't know how to look after the room which of course can be looked upon as "our" property — and gives the clubs back a room that they appear better qualified to use.
[Part of the mess was caused by Ultra Rightist Adventurers enraged when the tour was stopped. The rest is creche gear. The occupants of the room are not bound to bourgeois standards of tidiness — why should they be?]
The "Dominion" & Banana Imperialism
I wonder if you would be interested in publishing the full text of a simple little letter on bananas which I wrote — yes you've guessed it —to the Dominion.
Eat island bananas
Sir, — The manager of Fruit Distributors referred to the profit on Ecudadorian bananas bolstering up the "losses" on island bananas "and the ships go back empty".
It is sound economy to eat island bananas if we must eat [unclear: banana] which though, not so attractive in appearance have a less weighty skin and should be eaten when the spots appear.
And what about the beautiful Australian bananas?
The paragraph omitted as indicated was as follows:
If the conditions in which Equadorian bananas are produced were generally known, if we must eat bananas, most people would never eat another. Banana imperialism depends on a poverty conditioned labour force admirably described in the book "Meat is for Special Days" by a Peace Corps volunteer, a mature man and skilled agriculturist.
Incidently I know ANANA means pineapple.
Chris E. Gardner
Just to let you know you've scored another victory. I thought I'd better write and thank you for the past issues of Salient. I finally realised you're so right about this dump when I was reading Salient in the library last Wednesday, so I got up and left my favourite scat in the library to some other money fucking economics student and haven't been back since.
In their review of 'Godspell' in Salient' May 1, Stewart and Keene exposed themselves as modern day pharisees, revealing that old pharisee motto: "There are none so blind as those that will not see."
They begin by telling us 'Christ was clown among nine goons'; but although possibly dressed as a clown, he certainly never acted like one, for in all that he said and did he was neither pious nor flippant, but very sincere.
Apparently the dialogue "portrays a message quite different to that of the original", but I would be interested in hearing what Stewart and Keene consider the original message to be, if they know at all.
I suggest that the gospel needs no re-interpretation for contemporary society, the original and only message of the gospel will always be relevant. Men still choose to live selfish, sinful lives and can only be saved from them by Chrise.
I have heard the criticism that 'Godspell' is too fast moving and I feel that Stewart and Keene must certainly have been left behind if they felt the oppressive master/servant relationship was actually condoned.
The first such reference occurs in the parable of the unforgiving servant, Matt. 18: 21—35, where the master forgave his servant a debt he could not pay, and set him free — surely this is not condoning the oppressive relationship, but showing love.
I suggest Stewart and Keene also read Matt 5: 38—42, and read about 'walking two miles for a man in authority' in the context of the passage.
Maybe you will learn its lesson about paying back hate with love. This was pointed out at the time in 'Godspell', but you may have missed it or chosen to forget it.
Like the Pharisees, they couldn't see past the physical situation to the purpose of the image.
How come Stewart and Keene missed the most prominent point of 'Godspell', the greatest commandment of Christ, the very point of the gospel.
"You must love the lord with all your heart, with all you soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself.
It was no fault of the show that Stewart and Keene missed the main point, only their own blindness.
I am a Bible class leader and a C.U. member but, personally, would not rave over 'Godspell' at all.
|1.||Since Mr I.H. Boyd is responsible for overseas students affairs, he is one of the 'experts' interviewing students and taking down detailed notes, how can Swatland say that Boyd does not have access to Counselling Service files?|
|2.||Has either the Labour Dept, or Security Service ever requested information or consulted the Counselling Service about students, particularly overseas students, in the past?|
|3.||To what extent does the Counselling Service keep in contact with the Labour Dept? What will the Counselling Service tell or refuse to tell inquirers from the Labour Depts? What does the Labour Dept, usually ask about students when communication takes place?|
|4.||Can Swatland explain how the files are being properly handled? Any special measures to check that the contents of the files don't slip out of the office?|
|5.||It is easy to say Lee Foundation applications from past years have been destroyed. Where is the evidence? When (please list down the dates) was it done and how?|
|6.||Swatland said that even the university authorities are refused information from the Counselling Service. Can she explain the letter of "You Know Who"? This letter shows that Swatland's words carry little weight. Nevertheless, she is wise enough to agree to destroy any personal file when asked.|
We find out that on some occasions overseas students are reluctant to seek help from the Counselling Service because they do not trust the so-called 'experts'. One always feels that the Counselling Service 'experts' keep on rationalising and defending the Labour Dept, and its policy rather than making efforts to demand changes.
Boyd seems to have too much power in making decisions on the future of students particularly overseas students. Problematic or troubled reports relating to overseas students can rarely escape from the censorship, interference, checking, alteration and being changed by Boyd who tries to cooperate with the Labour Dept and helps it to avoid embarrassment. The result is that on some occasions students who never think of consulting the Counselling Service are forced to see him because he tends to exert his power in such a way. Neither Swatland nor Mence explains the nature of the power relation of the Counselling Service to the University authorities.
Wendy Mence's defence is quite interesting. Unfortunately, she cannot prove that the close relations and cooperation between the Labour Dept, and the Counselling Service assured that information did not channel to the former. It is childish to expect the counselling service 'experts' to admit that information had been slipped to the labour Dept, or others. They will lose their jobs.
Some students may voluntarily choose or be advised to consult the Counselling Sen ice. Others may be 'forced' or 'attracted' to go to the Counselling Service to keep on this marvellous business which allows a lew so-called 'experts' to keep a living and do counselling research using students as guinea pigs as well as to build up their personal reputation, social status and power.
Can Wendy Mence list any case that the Counselling Service intends to make "in the interests of overseas students, as regards the rest of the student body in general."? As far as we know nothing has been published on such matters and made known to the public. Why have several issues never been openly discussed? It should be pointed out that no criticism of the policy of the Labour Dept, has ever been made by the Counselling Service. Can the Counselling Service list down what sort of suggestions it has made for change in the interest of students? Important issues relating to permits of overseas students have been handled quietly, secretly, privately between the Counselling Service and the Labour Dept, to avoid rebellion arising among overseas students against the New Zealand Government. It is noted that the relations between overseas students and the Labour Depts are vers bad and tense. The Labour Dept, has done a good job to breed the anti-New Zealand Government feeling among the overseas students and who will certainly spread their discontent after returning home. One of the main topics of the conversation among overseas students is 'cursing and swearing' at the policy and staff of the Labour Dept. The work of the Counselling Service is to minimize the conflicts and to divert the potential explosive rebellion.
The Counselling Service has never acted in the interest of the community and students who want to change the status quo. The function of the Counselling Service is to mislead the students to accept and fix into the status quo. The counselling service 'experts' never intend to help students to fight for a change of irrational regulations, systems or society. The Counselling Service is only part of the framework to rationalise the status quo and its evil nature is little different from those organisations such as the Departments of Social Welfare, Justice, State Advances, Health etc., which Wendy Mence also realised. Wendy Mence is correct to advise us to cast our myopic eyes in the direction of those oppressed. However, one must also realise that the Counselling Service is a tool of the reactionary Establishments which oppress and exploit the oppressed and exploited people in our society.
The students and the academic staff members are not enemies. They can cooperate and unite together to fight with workers for a new environment. The students only rebel against reactionary staff members, authorities and establishments. We would advise Wendy Mence to make further investigation into the response of some staff members towards towards the behaviour of the counselling 'experts'. Understandably, most staff members keep in silence and the counselling 'experts' have been ignorant of the anger among staff members for years. We make this disclosure open for the first time and it is hoped that the 'experts' of the Counselling Service will think twice in exerting their power in the future.
A Group of Rebels.
Its Time for a New Flag
Those who revel in the Vandal' of Princess Anne's relationship with her horses, the press and her somewhat boring Lieutenant, also no doubt feel a sense of great pride at the sight of our national Hag gently fluttering in the Wellington wind. Those familiar red, white and blue colours in the form of the Union Jack in one corner, those stars on a plain blue background constituting the remaining area frankly do little to instil any national pride in my not so aged veins. I feel no romantic attachment to our so called 'home' country and thus think that our national flag should he free from the insignificance of the British influence.
Any feeling I ever had for the current New Zealand flag soon disappeared when I was unable to differentiate between it and its Australian counterpart — which is exactly the same but for one star more or less, I never can remember which.
While I am not advocating that we go as far as the American public in the use of the Stars and Stripes — on every second car there is a miniature version I do feel that a true New Zealand nag would be far more advantageous to many sectors of our community than the present reminder of colonial settlement.
A New Zealand flag, for example, would be welcomed by the business community, especially those engaged in exporting, who have had to devise their own symbol in the absence of a Hag bearing national identity.
Travellers abroad at present generally rely on an Air New Zealand travel bag as a means of indicating to others their country of origin — and in today's world it is often advantageous to make it known that you come from a country which does not have a bad image abroad It is so had in Europe at present that many young Americans buy Canadian Hags in an attempt to avoid the contempt that many Europeans have for America.
With Britain about to embark on a new era in European Co—operation its time we made a significant break by dumping our Union Jacked flag and replacing it with one that has meaning to us as a nation, not as a colony.
I implore you to refrain from printing any more articles on abortion. I'm frightened should I read another I'll have a miscarriage. Incidentally, shredded Salient on rye bread with pickled gherkin and strawberry jam is divine.
A Letter to you!
Why are you at university, you? How does this life compare with your rural small society, or pettiness boarding school, or the confusion in the city? — But this was last year, or the year before, or perhaps many in the past, and I can only wonder how much you've changed, and ask, in a conceited kind of way, how much of an idea you have of what you were when these line floors first knew your footsteps, and how you can guess what you'll be when their last echo has died.
Well, why are you here, and what do you think it is doing to you does the thought cross your mind? Oh yes, I know, I was here too, smiling with the rest and heckling noisily all the prejudiced city speakers from parliament and the rugby union. But somehow this doesn't seem to compare with the importance of a degree and the prized piece of paper your mother wants proudly to hang in the hall, glass-fronted, like an iceberg. And in a crazy kind of way it spells out all the relationships, and confusion, and emptied beer that ever happened in those short, eight-month years. Shall I write "Sally" and "Linda" and "Sue" in bold type under each one of those finely inscribed institutionalized italics, and underneath those names write "Dave" and "Pete" and "Mike", and specify individually all the 35 glass ounces of beer?
I'll add a postscript, too, to this obscene piece of paper, something that laughs almost a shade too loudly, and the hysteria is just a little too frightening to be read aloud and dismissed: it's all those people in the streets, isn't it, whom you never cared enough about to look at and say "hullo" to — it's the alcoholics around the Basin Reserve and the middle-aged drunk looking for a young party in George Street and lost Islander, still in Dunedin, forever wandering up Stuart Street shadowing a lover and the incredible hilarity afterwards over coffee and tea with Keith and the jokes, and the Tokolauan was there and simply didn't understand — he sat there in that alien society looking at the lover from whom he wanted six, and all I could offer instead was company and not being so alone, and my fear of an ego trip.
Sometime I'll be unfeeling enough to do it again, and then I'll think of you, all, sitting here, quietly dying. And mostly it's the people in the library on the fourth floor, blowing their minds with all that knowledge they can't comprehend, and the indifference, if not actual conceit, that everyone shows to the lonely strangers, when they have a lover of their own.... but all that is not important now; it is autumn and on Dunedin's fine campus the leaves are blowing across the park. It's cold enough, and in Queenstown lovely Karen might see even more closely the vision we call snow.
So go on, and don't even bother to try and answer the questions I was too scared to ask —and you can laugh a little, as well, because in the future the echos of your feet will match mine, silently crying, through the university.
Could you please tell me what a "trot" is.