Wednesday, June 16, 2010

my short film!

And, anything else to say?
My friends Ariki and Iwi keep saying they'll watch the world cup with me, and everytime they fall asleep about 10 mins in. fail!
I've been relaxing completely to the max past few days. sleeping, eating, talking, world cup-ing. Going to Tokoroa in a few days to visit Jess at her dairy farm. Cows!

I know I have things to mention about other things I've been thinking about with New Zealand.. but..

Friday, June 11, 2010

Calling and Not Calling My Ex

FINALS ARE DONE! (err.. exams.)
I took my final Māori language exam today and it feels fantastic. I stayed up literally all night watching the world cup games, and ended up sleeping through basically all of the France vs. Uruguay game. It was a fun night of Joe yelling obscenities about Mexico and my new friend Roger and I going nuts when Mexico (finally) scored.

Speaking of the game, it was absolutely ridiculous. The amount of missed opportunities, for BOTH teams, was depressing. Mexico can play so much better than they did and they should have won that game no problem. I will admit South Africa kicked it up before Mexico did and deserved that beautiful goal they got, but Mexico should have seen that and gone full-on after that... I can't comment too much on the France game, but the fact that it, too, ended in a draw (at 0-0? really?) was an upsetting end to the first two games.

I went into my Māori exam with an hour of sleep, which really did not hinder my abilities to spank exams' butts. My geography exam had an opportunity to let loose my aggression towards subtle racism in western education by taking apart an exam question that asked 'Explain what older people do to avoid social and spatial exclusion,' to which I began my answer with 'the only way to answer this question is through a Western, Capitalist viewpoint because in many non-Western cultures, the elderly are cared for and respected. Hence, the elderly would not need to find ways in order to avoid social and spatial exclusion. It is only because of this capitalist perspective that since the elderly are no longer doing 'labor' they are no longer contributing to society and are thus rendered useless.' Something along those lines. I then went on to answer the question, but I just had to point out that by making it such a general question and expecting everyone to read it thinking it applies to all peoples is wrong.
My Treaty of Waitangi exam was bull, not even going to discuss it. And my Anthropology exam, on the best subject in the world, went well but I'm afraid I may not have written enough. Oh well, it's over now!

Back to the world cup, I'm extremely disappointed at how unpopular soccer actually is here. Despite the fact that the All-Whites are in the World Cup, no one really cares and considers soccer to be a 'poofta' sport, unlike rugby, which is pure, 100% manly manliness with man sauce on top. I was hoping to come to a country that would celebrate the World Cup the way any European-based country would -- but, sadly, I am left to the night-owls of Atawhai Rd who stay up at odd hours of the night to watch the games with unrelenting fervor. Which, actually, is the way I'd want it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All the Things You Are

Exams almost over, and my film was definitely a success. Maybe not deep or symbolic, but just the way I like it -- funny and straight-up. I'm no good at thinking abstractly and once I get my film online, you'll see what I mean. The topic was "mihimihi" which is a Māori introduction, generally including things like a person's heritage and where they come from. Sometimes I wish I could make really "original" artsy art, but I make what I make and there will be those who appreciate it for what it is, and I'm glad.

I'm sad I'm missing out on the new LA craze -- food trucks. I love how LA has food crazes. I love LA, basically.

I love NZ, too, though. I've been experiencing more of it lately as I've been staying at farms and driving up to Tauranga for long weekends. Chasing cows/sheep on a quad-bike has easily been one of the highlights of my life. Dream come true, for sure. Also, visiting Jess in Tokoroa on the way down from Tauranga and trying to touch the dairy cows was extremely fun. Exams are weirdly formal and pretty much the whole grade is based on this one exam. I miss midterms and final projects that helped save your grade from bombing exams!

In terms of analysis of kiwi culture, I've been reading a lot of things about the fact that the world is becoming homogenized and a singular, american-like culture... and this seriously worried me before I came here because it wouldn't really be like leaving America. But, I'm seriously finding that there are still core differences in culture and habits. Even though the media is the same and certain preferences for food (like McDonald's) are the same... The fact is, the way this media and food is taken in is completely different from how Americans take it in. I can't exactly say (having not actually talked to anyone about it) how said media/foods are interpreted, but I can imagine it's something to do with the fact that American television/movies/music are often about a place kiwis can't identify with. So I suppose it can't exactly mean the same things as it does to people from the areas in the movies/songs.

Anyway, the point of that was that I'm glad I'm experiencing a culture different from my own. Though there are a lot of similarities, it's nice to find the differences too. Like meat pies!

And following that note, it was SO weird to hear the song 'California girls' by Katie Perry because... Why would they play that in NZ? I just don't understand how certain songs like that, which are clearly particular towards a specific American location, can succeed in a country like NZ... It made me proud to be a CA girl, but to hear it here was just weird. Especially since practically no one here can relate to it! The media shouldn't be promoting foreign pride, it should be playing songs like 'TARANAKI GIRLS' ... hahahaha you know, or something along those lines. But that's a whole other discussion about American domination in things like media (and even though it's not creating a homogenous culture, it's certainly pissing me off).