I spent much of today in the basement of the Auckland Art Gallery listening to various people who work in the British music industry talking about stuff. I’ll write more about that later once I’ve had some time to digest what was discussed.
The first discussion panel was at 11.30, so a bit before I headed off to the Kokako coffee cart in Aotea Square. The traffic at Wellesley and Queen Streets intersection was being controlled by a policeman in preparation for the big “Family Values” protest march.
Standing on each of the corners were a few people wearing hi-viz vests, who I assume were associated with the march. But the ones who were genuinely highly visible were a couple of guys wearing black suits. They looked like they’d been given a brief to dress as close to American Secret Service agents as possible, but had only a minimum budget. Both their suits looked like the kind of garment that a young man would have worn on a night out in 1986. Baggy trousers, big shoulders, shiny disco stripes – not at all authoritative. They were also sporting ear pieces that looked like the sort of thing you can buy off the Nokia accessories rack at Vodafone.
I made it over to Aotea Square, got my coffee and headed back to the Art Gallery.
By then Queen Street was filling up with protesters. There was a small anti-[whatever the parade is for] parade, a group of police, then the main “family values” parade. I didn’t want to get caught up in either group of protesters, so I carefully darted across in the police buffer between the two groups.
The protesters seemed really angry and ugly-on-the-inside. Are things really as bad as they seem to think they are? And what are family values? Everyone who is part of a family has some sort of values. I suspect in this case it’s families who have values that coincide with the values of these particular churches.
Later I had lunch up in Albert Park. The anti-[family so-called values] people were holding a love-in across the road in the university quad. Chris Knox was playing, so I sat under a tree and listened to his music drifting across the park.
Just before I went back down to the gallery, I wandered over to the quad just as Mr Knox started to play “Not Given Lightly”. He mentioned that he’d been in an unmarried relationship for decades and had two kids – not a bad achievement for the author of possibly New Zealand’s best love song.
It was really nice seeing all these people sitting in the sun, enjoying themselves. There was no evilness or perversion to be seen, which made the family values protest seem like even more of an over-reaction.