We need to respect deep cultural influences newly revealed in the Post Truth Era

The Editor,  The Weekender of the Dominion Post,  Wellington

02 April, 2019

Dear Editor:

Saturday Weekender’s (30/3) Insight article by Andrea Vance is only one of several in the media these days noticing that cultures old and new seem to be at the heart of the narrative of various groups defining ‘who they are’.

Vance casually makes fun of ‘Thor worship’ and points out dangers of it but that begs a deeper discussion of the dangers arisen from our own cultural heritage.

Culture has a big influence in the development of any individual though our ego sometimes hides it from us. (Note that my thesaurus says the antonym of the word ‘culture’ is ‘ignorance’.)

But in times of fundamental change like today, necessitated by climate change and the growing threat of nuclear weapons, unprecedented realizations arise naturally (with extraordinary discomfort!) from that which was hidden.

We should look at institutional manifestations of our cultural history that are dangerous. The media is concentrating now on the racist history of British colonialism.  But there are many manifestations and the most mainstream, hence perhaps the most insidious, is holding economic growth in GDP as the centre of our political and economic planning.  This kind of growth is killing the planet and reveals an international cult mentality much more dangerous than Thor worship.

Richard Keller



‘Vice’ gives impetus to explore where the ‘murk’ comes from

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

06 January, 2018

Dear Editor:

Jeff Weiss’ Washington Post article (SST Escape, 30 December) on the movie ‘Vice’ and its director, Adam McKay, is a joy, at once informative, entertaining, and hard hitting. But while my wife and I thought the movie itself was close to that we wondered if it had really made it clear what McKay was trying to say about Cheney. Read the rest of this entry »

Wellington Suburban Newspapers apparently going strong in 2019

The Editor,  The Cook Strait News,  Wellington

04 January, 2019

Dear Editor:

It is great to see WSN General Manager Stephan van Rensburg extoll the benefits of an independent local news media covering local news. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Wellington First’ and ‘Save Our Parks’

The Editor,  The Cook Strait News,  Wellington

20 December, 2018

Dear Editor:

Steve Behrendt (CSN 13/12) understandably does “not understand why almost every decision made regarding buses worsens service” after observing the Airport Flyer’s stop has been move 125 meters further away from the baggage dropoff.  But it’s worse than that in general regarding attempts to move from cars toward public transport. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Nuclear Deterrence’ on the attack again

07 December, 2018

The Editor, The Dom Post, Wellington

Dear Editor:

The nuclear powers once again resort to the existentially deadly cliché that so-called ‘nuclear deterrence’ is undermined by disarmament treaties like the current Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner) (Dom Post 04/12/18).    Read the rest of this entry »

Airport still wants to expand

The Editor,  The Cook Strait News,  Wellington

23 October, 2018

Dear Editor:

Ken Mulholland understandably is concerned about the future of the Miramar Golf Club and also potential loss of a noise buffer for nearby residences from the threat of an Airport expansion. But the larger concern should be that the Airport plans to expand at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Shock of climate change reality produces denial widely

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington

13 October, 2018

Dear Editor:

In his rambling diatribe against the apparent racism of NZ First’s so-called ‘Respecting New Zealand Values’ bill, Joel Maxwell (8/10 Dom Post) suggests that people are born racists and must try very hard, and sometimes be lucky as well, to overcome that natural tendency.  Read the rest of this entry »