Thursday, March 04, 2021

Yanks

I have a column about New Zealand's strange and sometimes nightmarish history of contacts with America in the new issue of North & South.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

In Patagonia

In percentage terms, the most devastating genocide of the 20th century didn't occur in Hitler's Europe or Rwanda - it happened at the bottom of South America, and NZers were partly responsible. I'm grateful to Charlie Mitchell for taking up this long-hidden story.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Chaffing

I've got a piece about nude trampers and poetic mountaineers in the new North and South. Read it with your kit off.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Words

 Sam Russell from Lindin thinks that it is wrong for the Maori Party's co-leader to use the word 'Holocaust' in the context of New Zealand history. I've disagreed in this twitter thread

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Tomorrow

It was a pleasure to speak at the launch of MK Joseph's long-lost anti-fascist novel Tomorrow the World last weekend. Jack Ross has written about the launch on his blog. Ross has for years been trying to bring Joseph's science fiction to the attention of his fellow academics. 

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Dark enlightenment

She's probably got bigger things to worry about right now, but I've queried the suddenly notorious Olivia Pierson's understanding of the Enlightenment in this twitter thread

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Weka Pass

Last week I tramped to Weka Pass Cave, where people made art with charcoal and ochre five hundred or more years ago. Now I wonder: was that iron fence by the cave's limestone overhang intended to keep humans out, or to keep the painted cryptids - writhing eel-birds, lizard-dogs, dancing insect-men - in? When I close my eyes creatures surface, through the blackness.

Caves like this are not only sacred to Maori. Generations of Pakeha artists travelled here, to learn what could not be learned in the polite galleries of tight little colonial towns. I could sense Tony Fomison and Theo Schoon, as I squatted beside the cave mouth. Both men were possessed by these caves, and this art: both spent years in these limestone galleries.