I haven’t had much experience writing clickbait, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Meh. ZOMG, flag change. This is terrible news for fans of quality journalism NZ-wide. Water coolers and the NZ twittersphere will be similarly shocked by the erosion of the mana of their prime topic of conversation. I shouldn’t be giving this the time of day, but let’s face it, I never have anything interesting to write about. Might as well continue the trend. The nation’s flag is in jeopardy. Shock, horror and scoffing en masse. Let’s get things established. This whole “changing the flag” concept only gets trundled out when a government wants to obfuscate some other topic or change a law without public consent.
What else is happening to distract people? My first instinct as someone not remotely news savvy is the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Are there any other law changes or quick sales our cabinet would like to affect before the election? I’m sure ordinary citizens would get in the way of something like that if they knew the extent of it (who am I kidding? The biggest news stories this country faces are rude reality TV judges and fast selling chocolate milk). Instead, like a matador our government has waved a couple of flags in front to catch their attention. Unfortunately, people are so apathetic to the lacklustre designs that the tired effect of this idea has worn off. Maybe National needs to call in another Marmageddon to really rally the people. Hit the country where it hurts and they’ll bleed black, yeasty blood. Does it have anything to do with some archaic laws? Will changing the flag, silly smokescreen as it is, actually have substantive ramifications for the legal system?
Whatever. I’m not a warring, political fellow and sadly the fate of a country I don’t plan to visit any time soon without coercion doesn’t immediately bother me, so I’ll drop the faux slacktivist angle. A flag is a meaningless concept to rally socially constructed ideals. It matters about as much as gender does and we’re at the genesis of those concepts being turned over. I can’t pretend to care. It’s silly that the government is pumping near $26 million into a referendum that few really care about. Even sillier are the designs they’ve picked out. The Prime Minister and the captain of the All Blacks have put their weight behind something with the silver fern on it. A country with more sheep than people is hardly likely to raise a dissenting opinion to something deemed proper by sporting royalty, so that’s probably decided already. It’s a pity. I thought one of the founding ideas of this whole referendum was to replace outdated ties to the British monarchy with a symbol that reflected our rich indigenous heritage. Of all the designs submitted that reflected Maori culture, they could’ve chosen something more striking and emblematic than the Koru design.
Seriously, of the 40 or so in the short list, why these milquetoast four choices? Is it because they wanted to reinstiate faith in our current flag purely by rejection of its challengers? Will people be voting solely out of spite for these dregs? Like another comedy farce, will the choice simply be Between Two Ferns? Was this whole hubbub worth our time and $26 million? Whatever it was you wanted to distract us from John, I hope it was worth that much at least.