We always hang in a buffalo stance

Simon at The Opinionated Diner posted this old Peter Urlich music video, from a time in 1989 when Urlich was being pop/funk act called B Cup:

The song isn’t really worth listening to, but I found myself strangely drawn to the non-Urlich visuals in the video: shots of downtown Auckland, people drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, sleek yet full late ’80s hair, hoop earrings, Lycra. It’s all very “Look at me! I am being very urban! I am cool!”

I was about 14 when this video was shot, and this was the life I coveted. Stuck in rural Hamilton, I dreamed of living in a art deco flat in Auckland, with a media job, and I’d get to go to parties and meet interesting people. (It’s that naive teenage thinking that says fulfilment comes from a checklist.)

It’s not like I consciously pursued that, but it all eventually happened. Last year I realised that all my 1989 dreams had come true. As soon as I realised that, I knew something had to change, and that’s one of the reasons I got a new job and moved to Wellington. I mean, who wants to live a 14-year-old’s dream life?

My First Rant

When I was 14, I had to write a speech for English. I was going to do mine on names, and it was going to be like, “isn’t it funny how certain types of people are called Trevor!”. But when I went to write it I got writer’s block (or perhaps I was blocking myself from writing crap?).

I sat down at the dining room table and tried to write the speech. I got the title and one sentence on topic before I launched into a diatribe about how the world was doomed.

This was 1989, before the Berlin Wall came down, when there was still a bit of nuclear fear and also at the beginning of when being enviromentally friendly was in vogue. That, coupled with standard 14-year-old girl angst, made for an interesting outpouring.

I showed it to my dad, as a sort of “Ha, see, I am completely incapable of writing a speech!” gesture. He read it and said it was good and I should use it as my speech. I was shocked. I couldn’t do that! It was too controversial! It had “piss” in it!

In the end I wrote a forgettable speech about names and presented that. But I kept my enviro-rant. Here it is.


Everyone has a name. But why should I care. So everyone has a name. Big buzz. I suppose that would turn some idiots on, but it leaves me quite bored. This whole speech idea is boring. What I’m trying to say is how am I supposed to write a stupid speech when no one at any point in my life has told me how to write a speech.

It’s like trying to factorise a2 + 5 – 6 when you don’t know what factorising is, or writing about the GNP of Chad, when the only Chad you know is a movie actor. It’s unrealistic. I won’t say it’s not fair because (and I quote) “Nothing in life is fair”. It’s ridiculous, stupid, foolish, immature and dumb.

The guidelines I was given are about as useful as an empty bottle of Twink. The only think you can do with it is to pour hot water in a jug, put it in and melt it, although the notes would only get wet, so it would be better to throw it out. No re-cycling would be environmentally better.

Speaking (or writing?) of the environment, what really pisses me off is when people, when asked what they are doing to save the earth from complete destruction, say something really weak like “Oh I use a pump action hairspray”. Using pump action instead of CFCs won’t stop the world from being destroyed. If you really really really really really really really care about the earth and the fact that you might not live to see tomorrow, then using a pump action hairspray is a rather stupid excuse.

Just imagine 100 years later, the world is almost destroyed and future generations will look back and say “Oh gee look my great-great grandmother used a pump action hair spray. Well at least she isn’t going to die of skin cancer/radiation sickness (etc)” It is really sick.

Personally, at the rate things are going at, I don’t really think that any one could save the world from becoming an uninhabited round ball floating round the universe with Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Pluto, Mars Uranus Neptune and Jupiter. What use will all the progress man has made over all the years, the pain man has suffered will be suffered for nothing, the triumph that man has gained will be nothing.

One million dollars will have the same value as a handful of dirt.

At the moment man is literally committing suicide. Like smoking at first there are no immediate signs, but later the damage happens, but by then its too late to do ANYTHING to change it. The earth is unique. There is NO other planet in the known universe that has life as earth does. Instead of countries spending millions trying to get men to go to Mars, they should be spending on saving this planet that is doomed for destruction.

This is my speech.