Rāhera (proper noun) female given name, equivalent to the Hebrew name Rachel.
and now i know how Joan of Arc felt / now i know how Joan of Arc felt
The Smiths, Bigmouth Strikes Again
ko Rahera taku ingoa. Rach is fine, if you prefer. the name Rahera was gifted to me by a close friend at a time in my life when i was experiencing something of a rebirth. rising from the ashes, so to speak (little in-joke there, for those in the know). there’s a deep personal significance there. the name is taonga. i don’t mind what people call me.
so. bio. i’m thirty years old. i’m from Hawke’s Bay, NZ. i spend most of my time here, but i’m in the Wellington region quite a bit. i have a human there.
i’m a high school drop out. i spent less than two full years formally enrolled in a secondary school, and my attendance record probably added up to about six months of actual class time. still, i read voraciously. english was one of the only subjects i turned up to. my back still aches from lugging around unnecessary books. in sixth form we studied Lord of the Flies and in seventh form, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. i had no idea how much my reality would come to mirror the counterculture, dystopian and anti-authoritarian literature that filled my bookshelves to the brim. we’ll get to that, eventually.
i’ve worked a few odd jobs. a bookstore. a dog kennel. an office. i’ve got a certificate in animal care from the local polytechnic. mostly, i’ve been sick. i’ve been sick since i was a kid. doctors. pills. locked wards. hospital. i got a bit better, then i got a bit worse. then i got a bit better, again, and then i got a bit worse. we’ll get to all that, eventually.
i’m better now. my life is pretty simple. animals. whānau. nature. books. music. art. Netflix. friends. when i’m not uber-driving the dogs around, cat-butlering or housekeeping for the rats, i read a lot. i’m also very Online. if you’re reading this, you probably found this blog via my twitter, youtube, or my involvement with the Free Speech Coalition, so i’ll tell you a bit about that.
over the past few years, i’ve been openly critical of far-left extremism, identity politics, radical third-wave western feminism, and the illiberal censorship culture driven by hysterical neo-Puritans. for my sins, i’ve had some pretty appalling accusations made against me. typical regressive shit. first, they called me conservative. they called me right-wing. crack up. i don’t fit into any neat little political box and i really don’t give a shit about labels, but would be accurate to describe me (if necessary) as a left-leaning classical liberal. i’m probably anti-authoritarian before any of that. i despise bullies. i loathe injustice and hypocrisy. i have no allegiances, left, right or centre. i judge people as individuals. truth is truth. the idea that defending kōrero herekorenga, freedom of expression — of all principles — is a conservative or right-wing position, is beyond absurd. the idea that rejecting social norms or criticising the government — any government — automatically makes you some kind of moral deviant is fucking ridiculous. i can’t believe they can’t see how backward they are, how they’ve come to embody everything they claim to be against. but they don’t.
so they ramp it up. they’ve called me white supremacist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, far-right, alt-right, terrorist supporter. it is vile, but predictable. to say these accusations are untrue is an understatement. there is no evidence that i am any of these awful things because i am not. anyone who knows me knows this, and more importantly, i know it. i know my own heart. i know who i am and i know what i’m not.
the people who spit these poison words are hateful and wrong. i will not try to reason with them because they cannot be reasoned with. when a free-thinking individual refuses to conform to their warped ideology, their pack mentality turns them savage. it is their default MO. cult-like, groupthink, hivemind, fucked up, evil. if you won’t drink their particular brand of kool-aid, wipe your mouth and smile, you become the Enemy. enemies must be destroyed. these are the people who call others fascists. they are the Nurse Ratcheds of the world.
i have never blindly followed. i don’t accept without question. i won’t obey rules that make no sense. i won’t sit back and watch injustice without standing up and saying something. when you stand up to bullies, you make yourself a target. but you know what? i can deal. i’ve already been through worse than anything they could do, and i know how they operate. i’ve watched these tactics employed against other people from a safe distance for years. it was inevitable that it would happen to me.
i was never going to stay silent. freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, are all at stake in Aotearoa. that’s why i joined the Free Speech Coalition. i believe freedom and truth are worth defending. to the death, as the saying goes. the irony is, this includes defending the freedom of those very neo-Puritans to point and screech and foam at the mouth, and scream ists and isms, phobes and phobias.
let them scream. i’m not joining any cult. they have nothing to threaten me with. i will seek information. i will listen. i will read. i will think for myself and i will speak for myself and i will defend everyone else’s right to do the same. he waka eke noa.
as the flames rose to her Roman nose and her hearing aid started to melt.the smiths, bigmouth strikes again