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2010: The Year to Pull Finger

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Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

Inspired by the passing of this last decade and the promise of a new year, some artsy group in New York City invited people to contribute any “last words” which they then exhibited.
I forgive you.
Grow up.
But, you don't understand.
I quit.
Grandpa, sorry I put ink in your coffee.
I did remember.
Come back.
I wish I could somehow go back in time and make my mother's life better.
Got that baggage from the last 10 years off your chest? Good. It's time to move on, no more wallowing in nostalgic regrets. This is a pro-active year.
Chinese Astrologers are celebrating 2010 as the Year of the Tiger, but I'm sort of trying to keep it on the low, because there's no need to encourage anymore bad Tiger Woods puns on the news. ("Tiger's not out of the Woods yet!" ha ha ... oh). The Tiger symbolizes bravery - 2010 is a year to stop wallying about.
In the spirit of pulling finger, Axis of Justice sent out a newsletter to subscribers reminding everyone that "we need to get y’all back in the driver’s seat" as political activism has been pretty slack over the last two years (due to the focus on the elections in the United States, waiting to see what Obama would do, and putting faith in leaders at Copenhagen). "We need to pressure all our politicians to do what needs to be done on issues like climate change, war, human rights and civil liberties. We need to pressure multinational corporations to change their own policies in the name of social justice. We need to change our own communities and help each other."
Recently I blogged about the controversy regarding 1080 poisoning in New Zealand and also the resource management application seeking to house cows in cubicles for months as a time. If you feel strongly about these issues - or any other issue affecting New Zealand - then make sure your voice is heard by the right people. (Joining the Facebook group for a cause doesn't count). If anyone remains under any delusion that the recently crowned regional bikini babes will achieve world peace during their reigns, take note of Miss Taranaki, who is super enthusiastic about using her beauty pageant title to do earthly good: "I guess I will do whatever Lois [Finderup] asks me. Miss Taranaki-ish stuff I suppose."
Copenhagen disappointed many. Cuts in greenhouse gas emissions were not agreed upon and once again, organizations such as Greenpeace are back to square one - urging people like you and me to take matters into our own hands by making environmentally friendly lifestyle changes and taking local initiatives.
And of course all this tree-hugging, save-the-world encouragement I'm giving doesn't mean piss if you're having trouble taking care of yourself, let alone anything else. The recession is supposedly getting better, but New Zealand youth are currently experiencing some of the worst health outcomes in the developed world, with high rates of mental illness, suicide, teen pregnancy, and injuries. Youthline reported a record number of distressed calls over Christmas. Price increases for food, housing, power and transport is hurting the middle class while beneficiaries living in the South Island, and South and West Auckland are reported to be living in extreme poverty. Some people are at the point in New Zealand where they cannot always provide food, housing or energy for their home. Food banks call for help over the Christmas period - but they need help well into the new year as well.
Terrorists are still trying to blow up planes. Children are still being sent to schools were they are encouraged to become suicide bombers. Records in extreme weather keep coming. Celebrities are still over-dosing while researches are now saying antidepressant drugs do no more than an inactive placebo.
If ever there was a year to pull finger and do something constructive to help someone else, this was it.

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