Worzel World - The Radicalisation of Prof Worzel
I find that proving others wrong is almost as good as proving myself right. So I’d like to say to those of you who, over the years, said that I was no oil painting: You were wrong. The header on my column has, since the dawn of this year, been a photo of an oil painting by Richard Moore of Moore Fine Arts in Maungaturoto. It was an entry into a portrait competition which we didn’t win. I’m not sure whose fault that was?
As you can see it’s a pretty good painting. Maybe the title, King of the Mountain, was wrong and it should have been Radical Man. Dictionary definitions of radical include basic, pervasive, far reaching or thoroughgoing, favouring major change, excellent, admirable or awe inspiring. In medicine it is used to describe the removal of a disease source. In botany it is used to describe the process of growing from a root. Recent news reports assert that the latest maladjusted nutcase to run amok in London did so because he had been 'radicalised'.
As a teenager the word ‘radical’ was slang for unusual and impressive, and almost always used in a good way. If a party, a car, or just about anything was described as ‘radical’ it was definitely worth a second look.
Since those days, excellence and eccentricity have been actively discouraged. Mediocrity, conformity and a victim mentality are now encouraged instead. As communities break down and the public conversation is held via corporate owned and controlled media the mundane and the trivial are elevated and more important matters ignored.
I suppose my own radicalisation was assured from a very early age. I was born and bred in a New Zealand that was truly prosperous and filled, by and large, with a hard working, hard playing, decent bunch of fairly intelligent and largely competent people. Regardless of racial origins we were all New Zealanders. It was only when later I travelled and assessed many other parts of the wider world that I understood how incredibly rich we all were in this country. It is a country that is disappearing in the wake of a corporate world order and the modern musical chairs of international migration. New Zealand’s national identity, like that of many nations, has been undermined in the name of diversity, inclusivity and tolerance. (Incidentally neither my computer nor my dictionary recognises inclusivity or radicalisation as actual words.)
My radicalisation was furthered by a private Catholic school education. Amazingly given recent highly publicised revelations, we were never subjected to any form of sexual abuse. My school, however had much worse things – like geography. The cane though was not spared and the children not spoiled.
Outside of school I pretty much enjoyed free reign in a pleasant, prosperous land with lots of milk, sheep and butter for which we paid New Zealand prices rather than global ones. It was a time of ‘no worries mate’ and ‘she’ll be right’ and looking back there really weren’t too many worries and for the most part she was all right.
My radicalisation was completed when I realised I was part of the first ever generation in history that knew it was bequeathing to those coming after it a sadder, meaner, hungrier world – that the many opportunities that were open to me throughout my life would largely be denied to coming generations. To those younger than myself I apologise for my failure to preserve those privileges we took for granted for so long.
It seems that only the radical amongst us are prepared to admit that in the rush to acquire the tawdry trappings of globalism we have lost the treasures that we already possessed. Mainstream mediocrity has stood by shrugging apathetic shoulders and saying ‘Oh well, that’s progress’ when it is in fact regression.
I am now radicalised enough to ask “What is it that has been done which has eroded our egalitarianism, our privacy, our liberty, our culture, and our prosperity and how do we undo it?”
‘Extremism in defence of liberty is no vice.’ This is not a quote from the Koran or the battle cry of some radicalised rebel. It is a quote from former conservative US Senator Barry Goldwater. In todays world traditional values like honesty, integrity, fairness, liberty, privacy, less state control and greater state accountability are considered extreme. The virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self control are championed only by the radical amongst us.
It seems I have become an extremist simply by staying the same. How radical is that?
My radicalisation was completed when I realised I was part of the first ever generation in history that knew it was bequeathing to those coming after it a sadder, meaner, hungrier world…