1880s: “I’m going into Town”
January 29, 2019
A very major theme in New Zealand ethnology and history are the two great population engines of Town and Country. They clash with each other and output Kiwis of quite different character. To know this old fairytale of the Town Mouse and The Country Mouse is to understand a great deal and with empathy.
“The main characteristic of New Zealand’s social history is not conflict between classes or political elites. It is rather the battle between town and country. By the eighteen-eighties life in the four or five bustling cities was so different from life in the bush settlement that ‘going to town’ was treated as an adventure by the rural New Zealander. Townspeople had a fragmented social and cultural existence, in contrast to the rural attitude that everyman’s affairs always involved his neighbour also. The towns of the colony soon developed a facade of variety and competition, reflected in their range of theatres, shops and churches. There was pretence of high culture by amateur choral societies, and of high finance by the various banks. Drainage and public lighting were the subject of political debate, and newspapers entered into factional disputes.”- Lineham (1977)
Or, to put it another way as a commenter did recently…
…toffee- nosed useless prick mouthy jaffas. So acidic their toilets have rotted out. Once paradise, now a shithole. (Pardon me)
I can see the glow on the horizon at nite. But the bloody dropkicks are moving here, all precious, priveledged and all that poppycock…
More on these themes to come!